Andrew Warren, Florida state attorney, challenges suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis

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CNN

Florida state attorney Andrew Warren, who was suspended earlier this month by Florida governor Ron DeSantis for his stance on abortion, is appealing his suspension, alleging the Republican governor abused his authority.

“The Florida Constitution sets very limited parameters under which a governor can suspend an elected official and what’s happening here is he’s trying to nullify a free and fair election,” Warren, the twice-elected Hillsborough County attorney, told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” Wednesday. “He’s trying to throw out the votes of hundreds of thousands of Floridians. And he’s trying to substitute his judgment for that of the voters who elected me.”

After Warren earlier this month promised not to prosecute those who seek or perform abortions, or those who provide so-called gender-affirming treatments, DeSantis announced that he was suspending Warren for “dereliction of duty” and “incompetence” as a Hillsborough County prosecutor.

Under Florida law, a governor can remove “any county official” for felony, misconduct, dereliction of duty, intoxication, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or committing a felony.

“The First Amendment still applies even though DeSantis is the Governor of Florida and the Florida Constitution means what the courts say it means, not what DeSantis wants it to mean to silence his critics, promote his loyalists and the will of the voters,” Warren’s attorneys said in a complaint filed Wednesday in Florida’s Northern District Court.

In response to a CNN request for comment, Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said: “Not surprisingly, Warren, who was suspended for refusing to follow the law, would file a legally unfounded lawsuit to challenge his suspension. We look forward to responding in court.”

Warren told CNN on Wednesday that he hopes a court will “admit and show that what (DeSantis) has done is abusing his authority under the Florida Constitution. He can’t just suspend an election. He can’t just throw people’s votes away because he doesn’t agree with something I’ve said.”

He accused DeSantis of having “retaliated against me for speaking out against him in violation of my First Amendment rights. And he has abused the power he has under the Florida Constitution to overrule an elected official.” suspend.”

He also argued that the Florida law that DeSantis signed to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional.

“I cannot enforce an unconstitutional law and no case has come before me yet. This isn’t about something I did. This is about what I said,’ Warren said.

When asked whether he would prosecute a case that violates an abortion law considered constitutional, Warren replied that he would assess the merits of the case.

“We would look at it the same way we would any of the 50 to 60,000 cases that come to my office each year. We look at the law and we look at the facts. And then we make a decision on that case, based on case-specific information,” he said.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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