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Judge sets schedule for Andrew Warren's suspension lawsuit against DeSantis

According to the schedule, a judge could issue a ruling on Warren's fate by the end of September.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — An elected Florida prosecutor who was removed from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis because of his positions on abortion and transgender rights filed suit last week to get his job back, saying the Republican leader violated his First Amendment rights.

A newly-released schedule reveals a judge could issue a ruling on suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren's fate by the end of September.

Here's a look at the expedited schedule, approved by Judge Robert Hinkle of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

  • Sept. 2: Deadline for DeSantis' attorney to file a response to Warren's lawsuit
  • Sept. 9: Deadline for Warren's attorney to file a response to that response
  • Sept. 19 or 20: Oral arguments presented before a judge in Tallahassee

Warren filed suit Wednesday claiming that DeSantis violated his First Amendment rights by punishing him for voicing opinions that DeSantis opposes. The governor, through his order issued earlier this month, cited 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. 

DeSantis said Warren violated his oath of office and picked and chose the types of laws he enforced.

"When you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty," DeSantis said.

Warren's lawsuit contends DeSantis did not identify any conduct involving criminal activity that would warrant a suspension. He told reporters that the governor is overturning the will of voters who twice selected him for office.

"The governor has attacked our democracy and it should worry everyone," Warren said. "If the governor's attempt to unilaterally overturn an election is allowed to stand, it threatens to undermine the integrity and outcome of elections across our state for years to come."

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