In his ruling released on Friday, Judge Robert Hinkle dismissed the appeal by former-state attorney Andrew Warren on the grounds that, as a federal judge, he doesn't have the authority to reinstate his position.
"The Governor violated the First Amendment by considering Mr. Warren's speech on matters of public concern ... as motivating factors in the decision to suspend him," the judge's report read, also pointing out that while the attorney's "association with the Democratic Party and alleged association with Mr. Soros" were "motivating factors in [DeSantis'] decision," the outcome would have been the same.
"The First Amendment violations were not essential to the outcome and so do not entitle Mr. Warren to relief in this action," the judge added. The judge said the issue had to be resolved at the state level.
"Bottom line, it said that there were some violations of the federal constitution by the governor, but those violations did not rise to a level where the court felt like it warranted a ruling in the governor's favor," Bjorn Brunvand, a criminal defense attorney who practices in Tampa Bay where Warren was based, explained to Fox News, stating that the 11th Amendment prohibits the judge from hearing a lawsuit like this against a state.
The 11th Amendment states, "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."
Warren was fired by DeSantis in August 2022 after publicly vowing that he would refuse to prosecute crimes related to abortion or medicalized gender transition. He filed a lawsuit later in the month, arguing that the governor had violated his First Amendment rights.
"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. "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."
Upon hearing of the lawsuit, the governor's office told The Post Millennial that "It's not surprising Warren, who was suspended for refusing to follow the law, would file a legally baseless lawsuit challenging his suspension. We look forward to responding in court."
Warren's options now are to either file a lawsuit in a state court or try his luck with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
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