Gov. Ron Desantis made the bold move to suspend a state attorney who had signed a pledge not to enforce Florida’s abortion laws and transgender transition laws for children. Andrew Warren has now pledged to defy DeSantis and will continue his job.
This was broadcast on CBS News. Warren accused his state’s abortion law as “unconstitutional”, while DeSantis was slammed.
Suspended Fla. Prosecutor @AndrewWarrenFL: “Blatantly unconstitutional” for @GovRonDeSantis to suspend me. “He does not have the authority to suspend me … the people elected me to serve in this position and I am going to continue doing it.” pic.twitter.com/lLGroFQTcJ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 5, 2022
I wrote a Thursday write-up about Warren’s initial reaction. I predicted that he would soon be on CNN. Although I may have been a bit off the mark, the point is the same. Liberal outlets love to portray DeSantis, who dares to operate within the existing law structure, as a fascist. Warren is the foil they are desperately seeking. We don’t know how good he will be.
This appearance suggests that he is not going to be a match for Florida’s governor. It is absurd to claim that an unconstitutional 15-week ban on abortion is possible. Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court handed the power to make such laws to the states. Even if the law is unconstitutional it can still be ruled by the courts. A state attorney cannot decide unilaterally whether he doesn’t like a law or won’t enforce it. This is what is really authoritarian.
Warren also claims that he was elected and DeSantis, therefore, doesn’t have the power to suspend him. This is false under Florida law. The Sunshine State, unlike many other states, allows its governor the power to suspend or discipline local elected officials found incompetent and/or deficient. DeSantis has the power to exercise this power without any ambiguity.
Warren’s claim that he will continue his job is a threat. I would love to see Warren try. Already, the police showed up to remove Warren from his office. A governor’s order also requires that another state attorney fulfill his duties. Warren is unable to physically or legally continue his work. If he plays with fire, he will end up being arrested. He’d get a lot more TV news hits if that happened.
DeSantis is not like other Republicans and enjoys these types of fights. He’s not going down. DeSantis would love Warren to come to work and test his patience, in fact.