TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Just a couple of hours ago, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a response to a lawsuit filed last week by suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren.
In the response, DeSantis argues he has the right to take Warren out of the job based on the "broad authorities to oversee the State's executive branch."
"That authority includes 'taking care that the laws be faithfully executed,' 'commissioning' state officers, and 'transacting all necessary business with the officers of government,'" court documents read. "The power would be incomplete without the authority to suspend state officials who falter in their duties."
The deadline to file the response was by midnight Friday.
Warren's lawsuit claims the governor violated his first amendment rights by suspending him. He posted a message on Twitter just minutes after DeSantis' reply.
"We're fighting to make sure that the voters get to decide who serves in office," Warren said. "We're fighting to make sure that the governor doesn't get to just overturn an election because he doesn't like the winner.
"We're fighting to make sure that in Florida election and democracy still matter."
Now Warren's attorney has a week to reply to the governor's response. After that, oral arguments are expected to begin on Sept. 19 or 20 in Tallahassee.
DeSantis announced the suspension of State Attorney Andrew Warren on Aug. 4 due to what he described as a "neglect of duty."
According to an order released by the governor's office, Warren "demonstrated his incompetence and willful defiance of his duty" starting at least in 2021. DeSantis' order cited article four, section seven of the Florida Constitution in allowing him to suspend Warren.
The order cites joint statements Warren issued on topics including transition-related health care for transgender youth, abortion rights and his instituting policies against prosecuting certain "criminal violations" as reasons for his suspension.