Lawsuit over state attorney ousted by DeSantis looks set to go to trial
Andrew Warren's fight to be reinstated as Hillsborough County's state attorney will possibly be heading to a trial.
While a ruling was not released following Monday morning’s hearing where oral arguments were heard, Tallahassee federal judge Robert Hinkle appears to be leaning towards a trial as opposed to immediately reinstating Warren like he wants.
The twice-elected Democrat maintains that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to suspend him last month was a political stunt that violated Warren's free speech rights.
Read more about Andrew Warren's suspension and his fight against it
“Today is an important day in an important fight for democracy—our democracy,” said Warren, who attended the hearing in federal court. “I’ve spent my career walking into court as a prosecutor, fighting for victims. Today, I went in as a plaintiff, fighting for democracy itself.”
“We look forward to a trial on the merits. As the judge said, we look forward to the governor having the opportunity to come into court—where facts and truth matter—and try to justify what he did.”
DeSantis accused Warren of refusing to enforce current or potential state laws regarding abortion and transgender health care. He suspended Warren Aug. 4; Warren filed suit to challenge the suspension on Aug. 17.
The Tampa Bay Times reports the judge asked both sides how quickly they could go to trial. While Warren's attorneys said they would be ready in a month, DeSantis' lawyers said three to four months, but they would have to talk to the governor to confirm that.
Warren’s legal team has asked for a trial date of Oct. 24.
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