Gov. Ron Desantis recently made the boss move of suspending a State Attorney who signed a pledge to not enforce Florida’s abortion and childhood transgender transition laws. Now, Andrew Warren is pledging to defy DeSantis, saying he will continue to do his job.
That happened on CBS News, with Warren accusing his state’s abortion law of being “unconstitutional” while slamming DeSantis.
Warren: "The governor’s abortion ban is unconstitutional. So, I am the one upholding the law." pic.twitter.com/PyKWQvim4v
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 5, 2022
On Thursday, I did a write-up on Warren’s initial reaction, predicting that he’d be on CNN soon. Well, I guess I was off a little bit, but the point remains the same. These liberal outlets love to try to paint DeSantis as some kind of fascist for daring to operate under the existing structure of the law, and Warren represents the type of foil they desperately seek. How good of one he’ll be is yet to be seen.
If this appearance is any indication, though, I don’t think he’s going to be much of a match for the Florida governor. Claiming that a run-of-the-mill 15-week abortion ban is “unconstitutional” is ludicrous. The Supreme Court just got done handing the power to pass such laws back to the states. But even if it were unconstitutional, that is something to be adjudicated by the courts. It is not the job of a state attorney to decide unilaterally that he doesn’t like a law and won’t enforce it. That is what is actually authoritarian.
Warren also makes the claim that he was “elected” and therefore DeSantis doesn’t have the power to suspend him. Under Florida law, that’s false. Unlike many other states, the Sunshine State allows its governor to suspend and discipline some locally elected officials who are either found incompetent or derelict. There is no ambiguity in DeSantis’ power to do so.
As to Warren’s threat that he’ll continue to do his job, I’d love to see him try. The police have already shown up to physically remove him from his office the first time around. Further, another state attorney is fulfilling his duties under an order from the governor. Warren has no access, physically or legally, to continue doing his job, and if he continues to play with fire, he’s going to end up getting arrested, which may be what he wants. I’m sure that would get him a lot more TV news hits.
But unlike other Republicans, DeSantis relishes in these kinds of fights, and he’s not going to back down. In fact, I’m sure he’d love for Warren to show up for work and test his patience.