Judge denies State Attorney’s request to be reinstated immediately

This combination of Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 photos shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and...
This combination of Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 photos shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren during separate news conferences in Tampa, Fla. On Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, Warren vowed to fight his suspension from office by DeSantis over his promise not to enforce the state's 15-week abortion ban and support for gender transition treatments for minors. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)(Associated Press)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 11:40 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) - A U.S. District Court Judge has denied 13th Circuit State Attorney Andrew Warren’s request to be reinstated immediately.

The decision came after a nearly two-hour hearing at Tallahassee’s federal courthouse Monday morning.

Warren was seeking a preliminary injunction to rescind Governor Ron DeSantis’s order suspending him from office, reinstate him, and stop the Governor from taking any further action against him. He claimed DeSantis exceeded his authority in suspending him.

DeSantis suspended Warren for ‘neglect of duty’ and ‘incompetence’ back on August 4th, after he joined other prosecutors in speaking out against Florida’s new 15-week limit on abortions and said he would exercise his discretion not to prosecute those cases. Warren also joined other prosecutors in speaking out against Florida’s new rules for gender transition treatments for minors.

“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law,” Gov. DeSantis said that day. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida.”

Warren had argued to the federal court that his suspension was retaliation and violated his constitutional rights to free speech.

“Mr. Warren is an elected official and his speech is entitled to the protections of the first amendment,” said Warren’s lawyer, Jean-Jacques Cabou.

When asked after Monday’s hearing whether he would enforce Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, Warren said, “I think the factual records are pretty clear. We review the facts of every single case based on the facts of the case and based on the law. That’s what we’ve done for the 6 years I’ve been in office, and that’s what we’ll continue to do as long as I’m the state attorney.”

Warren said he looks forward to an upcoming trial in this case, which the judge said would come within the next 3 months.

“We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain his decision and explain to the court why he thinks what he did was in compliance with federal law and state law,” Warren said.

In a statement to WCTV Monday, the Governor’s communications director said, “We are pleased that the court denied Andrew Warren’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law.”

The Governor’s Office did not respond to the question of whether DeSantis will testify in the upcoming trial.