TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Suspended Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren is appealing to a higher federal court in his legal battle with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The suspended attorney recently was told by federal judge Robert Hinkle that he had merits to his case, but due to the jurisdiction, nothing could be done to reinstate him by a federal court. After the ruling, he made a direct appeal to DeSantis to give him his job back.
In the letter sent to the governor, Warren said the court gave the other party enough time to prove that he did something wrong or was unable to perform the duties of his job. He noted that the judge’s order “emphatically stated” he had, in fact, performed his duties “without a hint of misconduct,” and that his suspension had violated state law.
A spokesman for the governor said the request would be declined and that the governor’s office disagreed with Hinkle saying DeSantis violated Florida’s Constitution.
Hinkle’s decision on Jan. 20 ruled that DeSantis had in fact violated the Florida Constitution with his suspension of Warren, though the court was not the proper venue for correcting that imbalance.
Since Hinkle did not dismiss his case with prejudice, Warren is now appealing to a higher circuit court—this time the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. He also still has an option to appeal in the state court system, before exhausting all options aside from reinstatement by the Florida Senate.
The Senate’s review of his suspension was put on hold as the various court battles were underway.
Warren later told WFLA.com that he took that to mean DeSantis had abused his power of office and that the whole suspension was essentially a political stunt. Recently-elected Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida called on the Florida Senate to hold the governor accountable.
“The idea that the Governor can get away with breaking federal and state law should offend anyone who believes in freedom—free speech, free elections, and that no one is above the law,” Warren said in a statement. “We’ve proven that DeSantis broke the law, and I’ll keep fighting until I’m back doing the work that the people elected me to do.”