Florida prosecutor seeks reinstatement following ‘illegal’ suspension by DeSantis News
Florida prosecutor seeks reinstatement following ‘illegal’ suspension by DeSantis

Lawyers for Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren Thursday filed a reply in support of a federal appeals court petition to reinstate Warren as part of an ongoing dispute between Warren and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. In August 2022, DeSantis suspended Warren from his position as the lead prosecutor in Hillsborough County Florida after Warren said he refused to prosecute criminal cases against those who sought or provided abortions.

The reply supports a petition that Warren’s lawyers filed in February, alleging that DeSantis’ suspension of Warren violated federal laws and lacked a legitimate and lawful basis under the Florida Constitution. Lawyers for Warren refer to the suspension as “illegal.” In the reply, Warren’s lawyers support the argument set forth in the petition that he is entitled to a writ of quo warranto and a writ of mandamus, court orders that would challenge the propriety of DeSantis’ suspension of Warren and require the governor to reinstate him.

The reply also rebuts DeSantis’s response that his authority allows him to “suspend a state attorney for exercising individualized discretion in what he views as an improper way.” Warren’s lawyers say that this is not stated in the executive order DeSantis issued suspending Warren, so it cannot be claimed as grounds for the suspension in his case.

The reply further states that the executive order fails to meet required standards for such orders under the Florida Constitution. As required by the Florida Constitution, the executive order must claim and satisfy the definition of “incompetency” and a “neglect of duty.” The reply asserts that DeSantis’s executive order did neither and thereby violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The reply is part of an ongoing lawsuit between Warren and DeSantis that Warren filed after DeSantis suspended him. DeSantis claims that Warren neglected his duty as Florida State Attorney when he refused to prosecute criminal cases that involved abortion rights.