TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren will remain out of office for the foreseeable future after a judge denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis that alleges Warren's First Amendment rights were violated.
The judge also denied a motion that DeSantis overstepped his authority, saying that would be a matter for state court not federal.
The question as to whether Warren's rights were violated is expected to go to trial later this year, likely in the next four to 12 weeks.
"The judge was very clear — he wants to get this right, once and for all," Warren said during a press conference after the judge's ruling. "We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain his decision and explain to the court why he thinks what he did was in compliance with a federal law and state law."
DeSantis' office sent a statement on Monday's outcome via email, saying, "We are pleased that the court denied Andrew Warren's request for a preliminary injunction.
"The Governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law."
This all started back in early August when DeSantis suspended Warren and had him escorted from his office because of statements Warren had made pledging not to prosecute abortion cases or transgender health care issues.
Warren's legal team was expected to argue his First Amendment rights were violated and that DeSantis blatantly abused his power as governor. Even further, Warren says the law — along with some of the people who helped write it — are on his side.
"The friend of the court brief that was submitted by the people who actually crafted this law is extremely significant," Warren said in a previous interview. "I mean, the people who gave this power to the governor are saying that he has exceeded that power, and he's violated the authority that he has in suspending me."
DeSantis' lawyers claim Warren has no First Amendment rights because he is DeSantis' employee — and they argued this is a state issue, not a federal one.
10 Tampa Bay reporter Aaron Parseghian is in Tallahassee.