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The Florida prosecutor who was suspended by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for his refusal to charge doctors or abortion patients for illegally terminating pregnancies is vowing to put up a “vigorous defense” legally.
DeSantis suspended Andrew Warren, a Democrat state attorney, on Aug. 4 during a news conference where he said that the prosecutor didn’t enforce duly-passed laws that crack down on child sex change surgeries and certain abortion procedures.
“We had the individual here from Hillsborough County say and [sign] letters that there are certain laws he just won’t enforce and won’t prosecute,” DeSantis told Fox News. “[State’s] attorneys that put their ideology over the rule of law are not satisfying their oath of office.”
Without providing specifics, Warren said on Sunday that he would fight the suspension.
“I’m not going down without a fight. I’m a former federal prosecutor, the duly elected state attorney, a native Floridian and a proud American. I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms, to speak your mind, to make your own health care decisions, and to have your vote count. I hope you’ll stand with me,” Warren said.
Warren was elected in 2016 and 2020.
In the video, Warren said that the governor is attempting to overthrow an election.
“Ron DeSantis is trying to overthrow democracy in Florida. His plot to suspend me blatantly violates the most fundamental basis of our democracy. Your vote. He’s trying to overturn the results of a fair and free election in abusing his power to serve his own political ambition,” he said.
A press release from DeSantis’ office states that he “has the authority to suspend a state officer under Article IV, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Florida.”
After suspending Warren, DeSantis appointed Hillsborough County Court Judge Susan Lopez as his replacement.
“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 said in the press release.
A law in Florida banning abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions such as if an abortion is needed to save a mother’s life, cases of rape or incest, and more went into effect on July 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.