States have rights. They need to exercise them. If they don’t, they risk being run over roughshod by the federal government. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gets that.
Wokesters in red states rely on support from the federal government to help them push their agenda.
Andrew Warren — the suspended state attorney in Hillsborough County — is no exception. He had pledged not to press charges for violations of Florida’s abortion laws or laws prohibiting “sex changes” for minors.
DeSantis wasn’t having it.
“The role of the state attorney is to apply the law and enforce the law, not pick and choose which laws you like and which laws you don’t like,” DeSantis said at the time, according to WTVT-TV. “This is a law and order state. We’re not going to back down from that one inch. We’re not going to allow locally elected people to veto what our state has decreed through our legislative process.”
“When you’re saying you’re not going to enforce certain laws that you don’t like, that’s neglect of duty,” the governor added. “That, quite frankly, is incompetence as defined in Florida law.”
So DeSantis suspended Warren.
DeSantis explained his reasoning behind canning the “Soros prosecutor” on Tucker Carlson’s show.
For his part, Warren claimed the suspension was unconstitutional because he was fired for something he said, not something he did. No case involving abortion or transgender treatment for minors ever landed on his desk, WTVT reported.
Warren said DeSantis was punishing him for speaking out, violating his First Amendment rights. So he sued in federal court to get his job back.
On Friday, however, Judge Robert Hinkle dismissed the lawsuit, saying the case is a state matter.
In his filing, Hinkle agreed that DeSantis violated the First Amendment by “considering Mr. Warren’s speech on matters of public opinion … as motivating factors in the decision to suspend him.” He added that while the suspension did violate the Florida Constitution, the case isn’t under his jurisdiction.
Warren can still appeal the ruling, file a lawsuit in state court, or run for re-election.
Bjorn Brunvand, a criminal defense attorney who practices in Tampa Bay, said Warren’s best bet was in federal court and that his chances of winning an appeal aren’t good.
“What’s troubling to me is what might happen down the road,” Brunvand said, according to WTVT. “Is this going to be a pattern where the governor disagrees with certain aspects of what a prosecutor does, where they come in and remove them? It’s a troubling pattern.”
“The idea of the governor coming in and removing a prosecutor is frightening and could have a real chilling effect on having independent decisions.”
What? Is Brunvand a wokester, too? A state prosecutor vowed not to prosecute certain crimes. He should be removed from office. That’s healthy for a democracy, not troubling.
Should Warren have been suspended?
Contrary to Brunvand’s contention, prosecutors are not supposed to make decisions independently. They are to make decisions based on the law, not on how they feel the law should be.
In any case, Warren’s case is a state matter, not a federal one. Whenever possible and legal, what happens in Florida should stay in Florida.
If Thomas Jefferson — who opposed a strong centralized government and championed the rights of states — were alive today, he’d live in the Sunshine State.
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