Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren Gets Nod for Reinstatement, Court Decision Challenges DeSantis’ Move
Florida – January 10, 2023: The U.S. Court of Appeals in Georgia overturned the Florida District Court’s ruling that the federal court lacked the authority to supersede state law about Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren’s suspension by the Governor, handing the former a significant legal win and the latter a significant loss.
According to a news release, Warren claims that the ruling supports his claim that the Governor’s suspension of him in August 2022 was illegal under federal law.
To obtain the relief he was refused 17 months ago, Warren stated he is eager to go back to the Florida District Court. Restoring him to his elected post as Hillsborough County State Attorney is that relief.
The Georgia Appeals Court determined that federal courts have the power to address First Amendment infractions and can restore Warren to his post, which is why they sent the case back to the Florida Northern District Court.
The Governor’s Office has not yet responded to the ruling.
Warren’s remarks are found to be First Amendment protected by the federal appeals court, and the lower court has the jurisdiction to restore him.
January 10, 2024, Tampa, FL — A significant legal win was achieved today by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren and the people of Hillsborough County when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned and remanded the District Court’s ruling on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ illegitimate suspension.
The ruling today supports the major claims made by Warren’s legal team, namely that the governor broke federal law when he suspended Warren from office in August 2022 and that Warren was legitimately elected by the people to be State Attorney.
“The defense of democracy is what we have been fighting for since the beginning. Following today’s ruling, Warren stated, “We look forward to returning to the District Court to obtain the relief that has been denied to me and all Hillsborough County voters for 17 months: reinstating the person elected by the voters.”
The appeal court determined that elected officials’ rights to express their thoughts to voters on significant matters are safeguarded under the First Amendment. That’s just what State Attorney Warren accomplished, according to J Cabou, a primary attorney for Warren at the Perkins Coie law firm.
“In addition, the appellate court reaffirmed that Mr. Warren was chosen by the electorate for his position and that there would be no purpose in holding elections at all if support for the governor’s political stance is a requirement for holding elected office.”
Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida determined on January 20, 2023, that DeSantis had violated federal law when he suspended Warren for speaking out on public issues and for his affiliation with the Democratic Party, thereby violating Warren’s First Amendment rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. However, the court stated that the Eleventh Amendment did not give it the right to reinstate Warren.
The Court of Appeals stated in its decision to return the case to Judge Hinkle that “The Eleventh Amendment permits federal courts to remedy First Amendment violations,” so indicating that Judge Hinkle is empowered to reinstate Warren.