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Judge Sets Expedited Schedule for Andrew Warren’s Suspension Lawsuit Against Gov. Ron DeSantis

WQCS file photos

Tallahassee - Friday August 26, 2022: Judge Robert Hinkle of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida has signed an expedited scheduling order in the lawsuit filed by suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren.

The order sets the timetable for all the paperwork and hearings which must be completed by September 20, with a ruling expected soon afterward.

Both parties in the lawsuit agreed to the proposed schedule.

Warren is the twice duly elected state attorney for Tampa and Hillsborough County, Florida. DeSantis signed an order suspending him on August 4, and Warren filed a lawsuit to challenge the suspension on August 17.

The Judge’s order sets the following dates and deadlines:

*September 2: Deadline for DeSantis’ attorney to file a Response to the lawsuit
*September 9: Deadline for Warren’s attorney to file a Reply to the Response
*September 19 or 20: Oral arguments before the Judge in Tallahassee

The lawsuit makes two central claims—that DeSantis’ order violated Warren’s First Amendment right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution and exceeded DeSantis’ authority as governor under Florida law. It asks the Judge to compel the governor to rescind his illegal order, which would restore Warren to office.

In a statement issued by his media consultant, Warren said DeSantis is "bankrolling his attempt to overturn the will of the voters with your taxpayer dollars.” And he appealed for financial support to pay his legal bills saying “everyone knows legal representation costs money, and winning this case is about so much more than my job—it’s about democracy—making it clear that no governor can simply overturn an election because he doesn’t agree with who won.”

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