Mixed reaction following suspension of state attorney by Florida governor Ron DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis suspends State Attorney Andrew Warren.
Governor Ron DeSantis suspends State Attorney Andrew Warren.(WWSB)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:58 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Governor Ron DeSantis suspending the 13th Judicial Court State Attorney on Thursday saying he was ignoring the law. This after he says Andrew Warren had issues regarding the state’s abortion laws and gender affirming therapy laws.

“Most recently the legislature enacted and I signed protections for unborn babies at three-and-a-half months,” said DeSantis. “And when they are aborted, it’s typically done through a dismemberment procedure which is really inhumane. Nevertheless that is what the legislature has enacted, it’s not for him to put himself above that.”

The governor’s actions on Thursday upsetting many groups including pro choice organizations.

“What’s most concerning to us is the fact that both of these legislations is already covered in our Florida constitution,” said Kate Danehy-Samitz, Founder of Women’s Voices of SW Florida.

Ed Brodsky, State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit says this news catching everyone by surprise, saying it was a stunning revelation.

“As state attorneys, our duties are to enforce the laws that are put on the books by the legislature,” said Brodsky. “And if we carte blance or clearly announce that we’re not going to follow the law, we’re going to disregard the law, I think that’s when you are going to come into the crossfires of the governor.”

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, Warren signed a letter stating that he would not enforce laws protecting right to life. DeSantis says that Warren also signed a letter last year that he would not enforce any prohibitions on sex change operations for minors.

“What we’re seeing is Governor DeSantis starting to tread into authoritarian territory versus the governorship in which he started,” said Danehy-Samitz.

DeSantis has temporarily appointed Susan Lopez to serve as state attorney during Warren’s suspension period.

Here’s the official statement ABC7 had received from Women’s Voices of SW Florida:

Governor DeSantis continues his journey from Governor to Dictator - He has issued suspension to Hillsborough County’s State Attorney, Andrew Warren. The suspension serves as consequence for signing onto two specific letters, with other prosecutors, in refusal to enforce bills that were signed into law after this year’s annual legislative session. Direct quotes from the letters that were mentioned in the Governor’s proclamation:

“Enforcing abortion bans runs counter to the obligations and interests we are sworn to uphold. As such, we decline to use our offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions and commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who provide or support abortions.”

“We are committed to ending this deeply disturbing and destructive criminalization of gender-affirming care and transgender people.”

Women’s Voices of SW Florida stands in solidarity with State Attorney Warren for his dedication to the defense of reproductive freedom and transgender existence and for faithfully upholding our Florida Constitution.

The right to bodily autonomy is clearly established in Article 1, Section 23 of our state constitution. We thank State Attorney Warren for defending every Floridian’s natural right to be let alone and free from government intrusion into our private lives and medical decisions - this includes every person’s right to reproductive freedom and gender-affirming healthcare.

We continue to rise in support of our state’s legislative champions, and fight alongside them as we defend Florida’s most marginalized communities and our most fundamental American rights - OUR BODIES, OUR CHOICE.

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