The lawsuit alleges that Gov. DeSantis suspended the Hillsborough County State Attorney for signing a pledge not to pursue criminal charges against the parents of transgender children.
A Florida state attorney suspended from his post for being too “woke” has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, claiming the conservative politician is retaliating against subordinates with alternate ideologies.
According to WESH-2, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren is seeking a court order restoring him to his since-vacated position.
Speaking to media, Warren suggested that Gov. DeSantis is launching an attack on Floridians’ constitutional rights.
“We did not seek out this fight, but the law is on our side and democracy is at stake,” Warren said. “
“In our country,” he added, “there are protections for freedoms and limits on power.”
“Ron DeSantis may not like them. He may not respect them. But he does have to follow them,” Warren said.
In his lawsuit, Warren said that the suspension is a violation of his First Amendment rights. Additionally, the Hillsborough prosecutor says that Gov. DeSantis cannot legally use his authority to retaliate against state officials with whom he disagrees.
WESH-2 reports that Warren has since asked sympathetic Floridians to donate to his legal fund.
“There is so much more at stake here than my job. Ron DeSantis is hoping to get away with overturning a fair election, throwing out the votes of hundreds of thousands of Floridians. By challenging this illegal abuse of power, we’re fighting to make sure no governor can toss out an election because he doesn’t like the winner,” Warren said.
Gov. DeSantis suspended Warren from his office earlier this month, alleging “neglect of duty.”
According to DeSantis, Warren—who signed statements vowing not to pursue criminal charges against people who pursue abortions and gender-affirming care—are, in effect, abandoning their duty to uphold, enforce, and respect state law.
“Some of these rogue prosecutors that basically say they are not going to enforce certain laws that they don’t like, that they put their personal conception of ‘social justice’ over what the law and their constitutional oath require,” DeSantis said when announcing Warren’s suspension.
The governor’s office also responded to the lawsuit.
“It’s not surprising Warren, who was suspended for refusing to follow the law, would file a legally baseless lawsuit challenging his suspension,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement. “We look forward to responding in court.”
The Guardian also notes that DeSantis’s position appears somewhat conflicted, insofar as the governor has not taken any similar actions against so-called “constitutional” sheriffs who refuse to enforce firearm control laws.
Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and the only statewide elected Democrat, has since called DeSantis “an autocrat that would love to be the dictator of Florida, and then America.”
“It is not up to the governor to remove elected officials because he does not agree with their philosophies,” said Fried, who is planning to challenge DeSantis for the governorship in autumn. “This is a local issue that needed to have stayed local.”