DeSantis suspends state attorney who vowed not to enforce Florida’s new abortion law

At a press conference in Tampa, which his press secretary touted as an event that would “collapse liberal media,” DeSantis noted that there was no state law banning the treatments. affirming the genre, but included it in the executive order suspending Warren because one day the Legislature might ban them.

“The Florida Legislature may want to step in and do something about it, you’re going to presumptively say you can’t do it?” DeSantis said at the event.

Warren said his suspension “spits in the face” of voters who twice elected him as Hillsborough County attorney general.

“Today’s political stunt is an unlawful overreach that perpetuates a dangerous Ron DeSantis pattern of using his office to pursue his own political ambition,” he said in a statement. “The people have the right to elect their own leaders, not have them dictated to them by an aspiring presidential candidate.”

Warren’s impeachment comes as progressive prosecutors have faced a backlash in recent months. In June, San Francisco voters ousted local district attorney Chesa Boudin, who sought to hold police accountable and limit the number of people going to jail. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was also strongly criticized on policies such as the elimination of cash bail for non-violent offenders.

Florida Sen. Janet Cruz, a Democrat from Tampa, blasted DeSantis’ decision to suspend Warren, saying the Hillsborough prosecutor has “served our community with dignity and respect and is suspending him because he won’t criminalize the right to ‘a woman to choose is inadmissible.

“There are no words to describe the attacks on women that are happening right here in our own backyard – just when I thought Governor DeSantis couldn’t get more extreme and unbalanced,” said Cruz.

At Thursday’s press conference, DeSantis was joined by regional law enforcement officers who lambasted Warren’s performance as district attorney. Some of the officers have jurisdictions outside of Warren’s judicial circuit.

“Let me tell you something, Andrew Warren is an impostor,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. “Did you get his? I’ve never been good at coating anything. He’s an impostor. He tricked the people of Hillsborough County.

Warren has been suspended but not yet removed from office, a step that would require the involvement of the Florida Senate. The governor tapped Hillsborough County Judge Susan Lopez, whom he appointed as a judge in December, to fill Warren’s spot.

Much of DeSantis’ executive order focused on the 15-week abortion ban. In June, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal abortion protections enshrined in the 1973 law Roe vs. Wade decision, Warren signed a statement saying he would not prosecute people who perform abortions in violation of the new law.

“Warren has therefore clearly, unequivocally and publicly stated that his office will not prosecute violations of Florida criminal laws or prohibit providers from performing certain abortions to protect the life of the unborn child,” reads- one in the decree.

Warren called the new law “unconstitutional on its face” because of privacy rights enshrined in Florida’s Constitution. This confidentiality clause is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the new 15-week abortion ban. That ban was briefly blocked by a lower court judge last month, but was quickly reinstated on appeal. Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican who spoke at Thursday’s press conference, asked that the matter be sent directly to the Florida Supreme Court.

The executive order also includes Warren’s decision earlier this year to stop prosecuting people on bikes who are arrested and whose only charges are resisting an officer without violence. A memo he sent at the time said 70% of cases resulting from a pedestrian or bicycle stop involve black defendants.

Warren was elected twice and was included on a list of candidates in 2016 backed by George Soros, a major Democratic national donor who has become a political boogeyman for Republicans. Both Warren and former 9th Judicial Circuit prosecutor Aramis Ayala were financially backed by Soros organizations and ran on a criminal justice reform platform.

Ayala, who is currently the Democratic candidate for attorney general, fought with former Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott after he pledged not to seek the death penalty in any case, which has prompted Scott to reassign all of his potential death penalty cases.

Warren was seen by some Florida Democrats as an ascendant within the party and tagged for a potential higher position one day.

Last year, he was chosen to lead the Florida Democratic Party’s new Security and Justice Task Force, which focuses on developing criminal justice reform policies.

“Warren has a strong track record of finding innovative ways to make our neighborhoods safer and our system fairer and more efficient,” Florida Democratic President Manny Diaz said at the time. “He is clearly the right leader for this statewide effort.”

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