(LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge once again upheld Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of a prosecutor who publicly declared he would not enforce state pro-life laws.
However, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle stated that the conservative governor had violated the left-wing prosecutor’s free speech rights in doing so.
Last August, 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 not prosecute violations of Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. Warren claimed 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.
Warren challenged the governor’s decision, attempting to paint himself as a target of political persecution and arguing DeSantis had violated his First Amendment right to free speech. He sought from the courts a preliminary injunction against his suspension, but in September U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle opted to let the suspension stand until resolving the case on the merits. “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 at the time.
On Friday, Hinkle issued his ruling, which maintained that DeSantis was punishing Warren for his political views, but the Constitution tied his hands from doing anything about it.
“The record includes not a hint of misconduct by Mr. Warren,” Hinkle claimed. “So far as this record reflects, he was diligently and competently performing the job he was elected to perform, very much in the way he told voters he would perform it. He had no blanket nonprosecution policies. Any minimally competent inquiry would have confirmed this. The assertion that Mr. Warren neglected his duty or was incompetent is incorrect. This factual issue is not close.”
Walgreens and CVS will begin selling mifepristone — a powerful chemical that kills unborn children in the womb — if pro-life America does not ACT NOW.
Pro-life Americans MUST STOP the widespread sale and distribution of mifepristone by sending a message that only big-box stores will understand: A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF WALGREENS AND CVS.
Walgreens and CVS are the newest back-door channels for the pro-abortion movement, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.
Will you act now to STOP abortion drugs from reaching your pharmacy?
Our work in the pro-life movement is FAR from over, especially now that Walgreens and CVS have chosen to push deadly drugs in their stores and in our communities!
SIGN and SEND a message to Walgreens and CVS! This is completely unacceptable!
We must stop abortion from reaching our pharmacies and stop the abortion industry from poisoning our communities — before it’s too late.
These big-box stores respond only to profit. The pro-life movement must enact a national boycott if the abortion industry dares flood our neighborhoods!
SIGN and SEND a strong message to Walgreens and CVS: unless they immediately reverse course, the entire pro-life movement will BOYCOTT their stores!
SIGN NOW and send a clear message!
Warren had publicly declared that he considered enforcing abortion bans “something that prosecutors should not be doing” and signed a joint statement that he would “prosecute only those cases that serve” his conception of “the interest of justice and the people.”
Yet on a practical level Hinkle ultimately upheld the suspension, writing that the U.S. Constitution’s 11th Amendment “prohibits a federal court from awarding relief of the kind at issue against a state official based only on a violation of state law. And the suspension would have occurred even had there been no First Amendment violation — the First Amendment violation was not essential to the outcome.”
Under the Florida Constitution, the final decision whether to permanently fire or reinstate Warren rests with the Republican-controlled Florida Senate, which is expected to side with DeSantis.
The battle is just one of the ways DeSantis has made combating the Left a cornerstone of his governorship, building a proactive conservative record that has contributed to his popularity as a potential contender for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. Some pro-lifers and supporters of former President Donald Trump have decried Florida’s 15-week abortion ban as insufficiently aggressive; DeSantis’s office has pledged that further pro-life action is coming this year.