TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — State Attorney Andrew Warren, of the 13th Judicial Circuit, will not get his job back Monday after a Florida judge heard oral arguments in the ousted prosecutor’s lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The proceedings were scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. before Judge Robert Hinkle of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Each side was given 30 minutes to address the court, according to a release sent by Warren. Afterward, Judge Hinkle denied Warren’s request for a preliminary injunction.
The lawsuit claims DeSantis’ suspension violated Warren’s right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution and exceeded DeSantis’ authority as governor under Florida law.
“Mr. Warren is an elected official and his speech is protected by the first amendment,” an attorney for Warren said in a press conference following the oral arguments.
The lawsuit asks a judge to compel the governor to cancel the suspension, put Warren back in office, and prohibit the governor from taking similar actions against him in the future.
A trial on the First Amendment claim will happen in four to 12 weeks.
“We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain to the court why he thinks what he did is in compliance with federal law and state law,” Warren said.
His attorney added, “The judge is clearly and rightfully so interested in what the governor would say in a judicial forum and the trial would be that opportunity.”
In a statement to WFLA, The governor’s office said, “We are pleased that the court denied Andrew Warren’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law.”