Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, claiming that the governor violated his First Amendment rights when he suspended Warren.
The prosecutor was suspended earlier this month after he pledged not to enforce the state's recently passed 15-week ban on abortion. In his lawsuit, Warren notes that his suspension came for signing the pledge and not any on-the-job conduct, a seemingly clear violation of his right to freedom of speech.
“DeSantis’s Order does not identify any actual conduct by Warren related to his official duties involving alleged criminal activity for seeking gender affirming healthcare or abortion,” the lawsuit reads. “DeSantis’s Order does not identify any other conduct by Warren or other reason sufficient to justify a suspension.”
Warren has been openly critical of the governor for his stance on abortion and transgender health care. Warren previously called his suspension a "political stunt" to further DeSantis' political ambitions. DeSantis claims he was merely doing his duty.
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” said DeSantis. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida. "