OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A Florida state attorney whose campaign was financed by leftist billionaire George Soros and who was removed last week from his position by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis sounded a defiant tone on Saturday.
Reports on Friday noted that DeSantis sent law enforcement officials to remove State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit, who is backed by George Soros, from office.
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” DeSantis said in a statement. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida. I have the utmost trust that Judge Susan Lopez will lead the office through this transition and faithfully uphold the rule of law.”
DeSantis decided to remove Warren after he vowed not to charge abortion patients or the doctors who illegally perform the procedure to terminate a pregnancy. Warren made the pledge in June just days ahead of a state law barring the procedure after 15 weeks was to go into effect, the outlet added.
“We had the individual here from Hillsborough County say and signed letters that there are certain laws he just won’t enforce and won’t prosecute,” DeSantis told Fox News exclusively following a press conference in which he announced Warren’s suspension.
“States attorneys that put their ideology over the rule of law are not satisfying their oath of office,” said DeSantis, himself a Harvard-education lawyer and Yale graduate who served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Navy and an assistant U.S. Attorney.
On Friday, Warren was asked about what has changed in the Sunshine State that forced the governor use more of his constitutional authority to govern. He responded: “What’s changed is that the governor has changed.”
“You know, policy differences aside, we’ve had governors who have respected the rule of law, and now we have one who clearly doesn’t,” Warren claimed without citing any evidence. “I mean, he is stepping on the rights of the voters of Hillsborough County.”
“This is blatantly unconstitutional in violation of Florida Statute,” Warren said. “He doesn’t have the authority to suspend me just because he wants to, especially when he’s focused on things that I haven’t even done yet. The bottom line is that people elected me to serve in this position, and I’m going to continue doing it to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ director of communication, responded to Warren’s defiant tone.
He literally can’t. There is a new acting State Attorney in his former office. This is delusional.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) August 5, 2022
“He literally can’t. There is a new acting State Attorney in his former office. This is delusional,” she wrote.
As part of his suspension order, DeSantis tapped Hillsborough County Court Judge Susan Lopez to replace Warren, according to reports.
In a tweet last month, Warren wrote: “The 15-week ban is unconstitutional on its face. Tallahassee knew it when it passed the bill hoping judges will ignore the privacy right in FL Constitution.”
“I put my hand on the Bible and swore to defend the US & Florida Constitutions. Florida’s Constitution has a privacy right that clearly covers abortion. While Tallahassee tries to circumvent the law, I will uphold the law and protect our freedom,” he added.
The 15-week ban is unconstitutional on its face. Tallahassee knew it when it passed the bill hoping judges will ignore the privacy right in FL Constitution.
Beware of the hypocritical “textualist”who wants the law strictly limited to the words on the page only when convenient. https://t.co/OHqv71BOeD
— Andrew Warren (@AndrewWarrenFL) June 30, 2022
DeSantis outlined his authority in his directive ordering the removal of Warren. During a press conference on Friday, the governor said that Warren has refused on several occasions to enforce laws duly passed by the legislature that crack down on child sex-change operations as well as other abortion restrictions.
DeSantis also lashed out at Soros-supported district attorneys and state attorneys like Warren, claiming they were significantly damaging cities and towns around the country with a ‘soft-on-crime’ approach he said is responsible for massive crime spikes.
“Here’s what Soros is doing. It’s actually smart on his part, they can’t get these things enacted in a legislature where you’re just gonna let criminals run [amok],” DeSantis said. “So what they do, he will get involved in these Democrat primaries and a Democrat area, he’ll flush a million dollars to get the radical to win the primary then they usually win the general because of the party affiliation difference in the jurisdiction.”
“So then you get them in there and what they do is they want to change the criminal justice system through non-enforcement,” he continued. “So it’s a total end run around our constitutional system. The results obviously have been destructive around the country. But it also really undermines the idea that ours is supposed to be a government of laws, not a government of individual men.”