Desantis Warren

Legal showdown between suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, Gov. DeSantis starts next week

Hillsborough County’s suspended State’s Attorney Andrew Warren is headed to Tallahassee for a legal showdown with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

It comes three months after the twice-elected state’s attorney was ousted by the governor for not doing his job, but Warren said he was wrongfully removed.

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Warren is suing to be reinstated as the Hillsborough County state’s attorney, and now both sides will go to trial on Tuesday.

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Federal District Court Judge Robert Hinkle will be the trier of fact in a bench trial expected to last all week.

Warren said there is a much bigger problem than getting his job back. He said Governor DeSantis’ actions undermined democracy and silenced the voters of Hillsborough County.

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Professor Bruce Rogow, a First Amendment and constitutional lawyer in Florida, agrees. Rogow recently defended Roger Stone in his federal case and argued 1 time before the US Supreme Court.

Rogow believes the governor disenfranchised Hillsborough County voters.

MORE: Florida Sheriffs Association supports DeSantis’ decision to suspend Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren

“For the governor to take it into his own hands and decide this person should no longer be in office after being voted out, elected twice is a pretty extraordinary thing,” Rogow said.

Warren was suspended by Governor DeSantis on August 4 for dereliction of duty and incompetence. The governor pointed to two pledges Warren signed, agreeing not to criminalize those who seek and provide abortions and gender-affirming sex.

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The suspended state attorney said he was fired for something he said, not something he did. No case on that issue ever reached his desk.

READ: DeSantis criticized by dozens of former judges, prosecutors, police chiefs over Andrew Warren’s suspension

Rogow said the judge will look for the governor’s true motive for removing Warren.

“The simple fact is the governor says you were removed, that’s a simple fact, the more complicated fact is ‘why did you remove him?’ If the answer is, ‘I removed him because I didn’t like what he said,’ well, then that’s a First Amendment violation. explains Rogow.

Rogow went on to say that if the governor’s legal team can prove that Warren violated his oath of office, then the governor could be on the winning side.

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The judge will not hear from the governor himself next week. Warren’s legal team told the judge during a conference call on Wednesday that they had decided not to call Gov. DeSantis to the stand during their initial presentation of the hearing.

However, they left open the possibility of calling Governor DeSantis during their rebuttal case. If that happens, the governor will fight the subpoena and the judge will step in and rule on it.

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