TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren wants to take his legal battle with Gov. Ron DeSantis to the state's highest court.
Warren announced Thursday that he's initiated a lawsuit in the Florida Supreme Court asking for his job to be reinstated. This comes just one day after Warren said he's prepared to file an appeal in federal court for the same reason.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that DeSantis did violate Warren's First Amendment rights by suspending him, but said the court didn't have the power to reinstate his position.
Following the ruling, the court did ask DeSantis to rescind his suspension of the state attorney, but the governor has yet to do so.
Now, Warren has filed a petition both challenging the legality of DeSantis' decision to suspend him and asking that the Florida Supreme Court order the governor to give Warren his job back.
"After a thorough review of the facts and the law, a federal court found that the Governor broke both Florida and U.S. laws and illegally suspended me. We're asking the Florida Supreme Court to affirm that finding and instruct the Governor to follow the law and reinstate me to office. We're asking them to reiterate that no one is above the law—not even the Governor,” Warren said in a statement.
The ongoing saga between the governor and the former state attorney began last year when DeSantis suspended Warren over claims of "neglect of duty" and "incompetence," particularly when it came to issues about abortion.
Warren had just joined a group of prosecutors in signing a letter saying they would not pursue criminal charges over people who seek or provide abortions or gender-affirming treatments.
Since the start, Warren has called DeSantis' decision to suspend him politically motivated considering the governor made the announcement at a campaign-like rally with cheering supporters during which he attacked “woke" ideology.
Warren was elected in 2016 and 2020 as prosecutor of Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa. He has said DeSantis overturned the will of voters by removing him from office.