TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle declined Monday to reinstate suspended Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren, ruling that the dispute over the prosecutor who vocally refused to enforce state laws he disagreed with should be settled by a trial rather than temporarily restoring his job only for an eventual determination on the merits to take it away for good.
In August, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending Warren “for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state,” in response to Warren declaring he would he would not prosecute violations of Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, claiming it “violate[s] … the right to privacy” despite the U.S. Supreme Court expressly affirming the legitimacy of state abortion bans when it overturned Roe v. Wade.
The George Soros-backed Warren, who had also pledged not to enforce laws against surgically “transitioning” minors, challenged the governor’s decision, attempting to paint himself as a target of political persecution and arguing DeSantis violated his First Amendment right to free speech. Under the Florida Constitution, the final decision whether to permanently fire or reinstate him rests with the Republican-controlled Florida Senate.
In the meantime, Warren sought from the courts a preliminary injunction against his suspension. But Forbes reported that Hinkle determined the “public isn’t served by yo-yoing this office,” and that it would be better to settle the issue “once and for all” via a trial.
That trial, a date for which has not yet been set, would be a court trial on Warren’s First Amendment claim rather than the constitutionally-prescribed Senate review of his suspension. Florida Politics added that Hinkle appeared sympathetic to Warren’s case.
“Mr. Warren had no First Amendment right, as a public official, to declare that he would not perform his duties under Florida law,” Florida Solicitor General Henry Whitaker argued.
DeSantis’ suspension of Warren is just one of many actions DeSantis has taken to solidify a record as a proactive, results-oriented conservative governor, which has made him a favorite among many as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2024.