DeSantis Takes Scorched Earth On Florida Prosecutor For Defying Abortion Ban

SOPA Images/Getty

SOPA Images/Getty

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that he has taken the extraordinary step of suspending Hillsborough County District Attorney Andrew Warren for refusing to enforce some of the state laws, including the recent 15-week abortion ban.

In a news conference before the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Republican governor said Warren has “publicly put himself above the law” by declaring that he will not enforce some of Florida’s most controversial laws.

“Late attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined by Florida law, not to choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” DeSantis said Thursday. “It is my duty to hold the elected officials of Florida to the highest standards for the people of Florida. I have every confidence that Judge Susan Lopez will guide the office through this transition and faithfully uphold the rule of law.”

In the executive order of Warren .’s suspensionDeSantis claimed that the Chief Prosecutor of the 13th Judicial Circuit was “busting out laws enacted by the representatives of the people” and actively refusing to enforce some state laws.

DeSantis noted that Warren, a Democrat, “has stated in writing that he will not prosecute those who perform abortions in violation of Florida’s criminal laws to protect the life of the unborn child.”

During the press conference, several other local leaders expressed frustration at Warren’s decision not to prosecute certain cases, including Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, who claimed the prosecutor’s office “seems to be overly focused on empathy for criminals and less interested.” in pursuing justice for crime victims. .”

“We have a governor who will defend us,” added Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is competing for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to face DeSantis, called Warren’s suspension “a politically motivated attack on a universally respected prosecutor democratically elected to exercise discretion.”

“Ron DeSantis is a pathetic bully,” Fried said in a statement Thursday.

Warren, who was reelected to his post in 2020, has been silent on his views on some of Florida’s hottest-button legal issues — from the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill to post-abortion abortion. Roe v. Wade was destroyed last month.

“I am disgusted by the passage of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law,” Warren said in a statement from March. “At a time when our state must unite to solve important problems, this bill is fueling prejudice and hatred — and our society has had enough of both.”

Last month, Warren belonged to a group of prosecutors across the country who signed a statement refusing to go after people “who seek, give or support abortions”. The move came after DeSantis signed a bill in April that would restrict most abortions in the state beyond 15 weeks unless the pregnant woman is in a life-threatening situation.

Florida’s abortion law, which went into effect in July, has no exceptions for incest, human trafficking or rape. Warren was the only Florida prosecutor to sign the letter, which was organized by the Fair and Just Prosecution group.

“As I said before, I put my hand on the Bible and swore to defend the US and Florida Constitutions. The Florida Constitution has a privacy right that clearly pertains to abortion. While Tallahassee tries to circumvent the law, I will enforce the law and protect our freedom,” Warren said in a June 30 tweet.

While Warren serves his indefinite suspension, DeSantis has appointed Hillsborough County Judge Susan Lopez to fill his position. Lopez previously served as the assistant state attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit for more than 15 years.

“I have the utmost respect for our state laws and understand the important role the prosecutor plays in ensuring the safety of our community and enforcing our laws,” Lopez said in a statement. “I want to thank the governor for his trust in me, and I promise to faithfully carry out the duties of this office.”

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