On Thursday, January 25, 2024, Spectrum News 13 reported that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis petitioned a federal appeals court to fully review the case of suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren. DeSantis challenged an earlier ruling from the appeals court ordering a lower court to reconsider Warren’s case.

The appeals court agreed in January that DeSantis violated Warren’s First Amendment rights by suspending him from his elected position. However, they disagreed with the lower court judge on the court’s ability to potentially remedy or reinstate Warren. Now, DeSantis is requesting that the full federal appeals court consider the case instead of a three-judge panel.

DeSantis suspended Warren in August 2022, claiming neglect of duty and refusal to enforce certain criminal laws. In public statements and court documents, DeSantis said he suspended after Warren signed a pledge to not prosecute people for abortion or gender-affirming healthcare. Warren sued DeSantis, sparking a yearlong legal battle over the suspension.

DeSantis’ attorneys argued the appeals court ruling undermines the state’s ability to manage officials and enforce laws. However, Warren’s attorneys said the suspension violated his free speech and was a political stunt. They believe the appeals court correctly ruled DeSantis infringed on Warren’s constitutional rights.

The governor is now asking the full federal appeals court to review if Warren’s signed pledge can be considered protected free speech. His administration warns it could set a precedent for officials to protest policies and undermine enforcement.



Source: Spectrum News 13