Florida Supreme Court rebuffs ex-Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren’s reinstatement bid
Ron DeSantis, Andrew Warren. Image via AP.

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'(Warren) brought that claim in federal district court — a court that (Warren) should have known was wholly without jurisdiction to consider the claim.'

The Florida Supreme Court rejected Andrew Warren’s request to be reinstated as Hillsborough County State Attorney after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended him from office in August 2022 for not upholding the law.

Warren, a Democrat, had signed a pledge not to prosecute abortion-related crimes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 ruling installing abortion rights.

In a 6-1 ruling, the court determined Warren waited too long to petition the court for reinstatement. Warren first sued DeSantis in federal court, where Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in January that while DeSantis had violated Warren’s First Amendment rights, he had no authority to reinstate him. Warren petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to reinstate him the following month and is awaiting a decision from a federal appeals court on the federal case.

Justice Charles Canady wrote the opinion and took Warren to task for seeking relief in federal court initially instead of in the state courts.

“Here, within two weeks of his suspension, (Warren) sought a writ of quo warranto challenging the facial sufficiency of the suspension order,” Canady wrote. “But (Warren) brought that claim in federal district court — a court that (Warren) should have known was wholly without jurisdiction to consider the claim.”

Warren was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020 and was 18 months into his second term. In his dissent, Justice Jorge Labarga noted he still would have another 18 months to go in his term if the court had put him back in office.

“Given that this case involves the suspension of a then-sitting elected official — for whom a substantial portion of the term yet remains — I am unpersuaded by the majority’s conclusion that Warren’s petition is properly denied on the ground of unreasonable delay,” Labarga wrote.

Warren was in Washington on Thursday for an ad hoc committee hearing in the U.S. House hosted by U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, an Orlando Democrat, on the “Oversight of Anti-democratic Abuses of Power in the State of Florida.” He later issued a statement criticizing the ruling.

“This is an issue that is crucial for democracy in Florida,” Warren said. “Rather than addressing the substance of the Governor’s illegal action, the Court cited a technicality and avoided a ruling on the merits of the case. We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision.”

DeSantis cited Warren’s policy to not pursue penalties for nonviolently resisting arrest during bike stops, and a pledge not to prosecute doctors for performing gender-transforming surgeries in his executive order suspending Warren. But the main reason was Warren’s signature on a pledge to not prosecute abortion cases. In the federal trial, Warren’s attorneys noted no such cases were brought before his office.

Under the state constitution, the Governor’s suspensions are to be referred to the state Senate, which will hold a trial and vote whether the person should be reinstated or the suspension should be upheld and they should be removed from office. The Senate’s process, though, was held in abeyance while the legal dispute played out. It’s unclear at this point, though, how the Senate will act in light of the latest court decision.

Republicans enjoy a 28-12 advantage over Democrats in the Senate and have repeatedly delivered on DeSantis’ agenda. Nevertheless, in his ruling, Canady notes that the Senate is where the constitution requires Warren to go for relief, since the courts have limited authority to overturn a suspension.

“There is no reason to doubt that the elected members comprising that legislative body will ‘be just’ in carrying out their ‘solemn duty,’” Canady wrote.

Gray Rohrer


  • Michael K

    June 22, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    “There is no reason to doubt that the elected members comprising that legislative body (State Senate) will ‘be just’ in carrying out their ‘solemn duty,’” Canady wrote.

    What a joke. “Solemn duty” for DeSantis sycophants? No such thing in Florida these days.

  • Lynda

    June 22, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    Warren was twice elected by the voters of Hillsborough. It should be the voters of the county who decide if he should be re-instated and serve the remaining 18 months of his term. The rubberstamp legislature who gives into every wish of deSantis is not a suitable venue for either fairness or facts to be given any weight.

    deSantis routinely pays no attention to the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. Anyone who disagrees with him is “toast”.

    • ScienceBLVR

      June 22, 2023 at 2:25 pm

      Here’s hoping he runs again. I know it would be a long long shot in this state, but how sweet would it be for him to run for AG? Just to get our poor state out of Moody’s wacky hands would be a win, for sure.

  • eva

    June 22, 2023 at 2:07 pm


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  • Earl Pitts American

    June 22, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Good news there regarding The Florida Supremes “Rebuffing” of the wayward public servant Warren.
    Stand by for even better news America:
    In addition to The Florida Supremes mighty, disgraceful, and painfully embarrasing Rebuffment:
    LADIES AND GENTELMEN we are about to ramp it up a notch.
    I, Earl Pitts American, hereby issue the dreaded and most feared “Ramping It Up” of all ramping it up ever in the historical annuals of The Great State of Florida.
    Thats right America.
    I, Earl Pitts American, hereby issue The Earl Pitts American Perminate CHASTIZEMENT of this wayward former public servant Mr. Warren.
    Henceforth to be adderessed as “The Chastized Mr. Warren”.
    I, Earl Pitts American, am getting on the phone to my contacts with The Florida Bar to ensure they follow the law and suspend forever the Bar Card of The Chastized Mr. Warren, per FS 773.06, section 3a-3c for any attorney who has received The Official Chastizement of Earl Pitts American.
    It is therefor, with heavy heart, that I, Earl Pitts American, carry out my required duty under Florida Law.
    Thanks to The Florida Supremes for carrying out your duty.
    We can now close out this disgracefull Chapter of Florida Jurisprudance history and return to our regular duties of Serving The Citizenary Of The Great State of Florida.
    Thank you Florida and thank you America,
    ******Queue annoyingly loud Patriotic music to further whizz off all dook 4 brains leftists every where.*****
    Earl Pitts American

    • A Random Guest

      June 23, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      The Florida Supremes are nothing but “hand” maidens to their fascist leader, Rhonda Santis. I wonder if Rhonda at least gives them clean knee pads when they service him and the GOP Knotcees in the state legislature.

  • Martucci

    June 22, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    as a lawyer you would think he should have know which court would have jurisdiction.

    Good bye to this loser

    • Earl Pitts American

      June 22, 2023 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you Martucci,
      You are a Great American.

    • Michael K

      June 22, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      No – the “court” issued on a technicality.
      The governor overstepped his authority on this one – removing a duly elected official. The Leonard Leo court is neither fair or just – just political hacks, bought and sold.

      • Earl Pitts American

        June 22, 2023 at 10:08 pm

        Beware MK,
        Dook 4 brains leftist comments that appear to be chastizing of me, Earl Pitts American, are never a good idea.
        More respect and fielity to me, Earl Pitts American, should always be on the top of your mind 24/7.
        Remember who’s your Daddy MK
        I, Earl Pitts American, will cut you a break from my severe disipline this time because you have been drinking, are not good looking, and dont have a girlfriend.
        Watch yourself MK.

        • Earl Pitts American

          June 22, 2023 at 10:31 pm

          Good evening America,
          Some general highly effective posting tips:
          Prior to posting anything, most succussfull posters will pause and re-read their intended post with an eye twoard “what would Earl think about what I’m about to post? ” SEE GREATNESS IS JUST THAT EASY.
          Thank you America,

  • It's Complicated

    June 23, 2023 at 9:22 am

    I’m not an attorney, but I do agree with Warren on this one. DeSantis should have waited until Warren actually refused to prosecute one of these cases under (at the time of suspension, a yet-to-be-enacted) Florida Statute before suspending him from office.

    A good example is when then-Governor Scott, by Executive Order, moved all Capital Murder/Death Penalty eligible cases from under the authority of then-Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, because she was actively refusing to follow Florida Statute by ‘using discretion’ in Death Penalty cases. By adopting a blanket, ‘We will not seek the Death Penalty in 1st Degree Murder cases, no matter how egregious the circumstances’ position, she was in violation of her duty of office.

Comments are closed.


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