WQCS Header Background Image
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Federal Court Will Expedite Andrew Warren’s Appeal

DeSantis - Warren.jpg
WQCS file

Florida - Thursday March 9, 2023: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Wednesday agreed to expedite its review of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren’s appeal in his federal lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The ruling sets oral arguments in the case for the week of May 1, less than eight weeks from now.

Warren asked the appeals court to move forward quickly because, as his legal team wrote in its request, “the public needs resolution at the earliest possible opportunity of whether the governor illegally removed the duly elected prosecutor in the state’s third most populous city.”

DeSantis suspended Warren, the twice-elected state attorney for Hillsborough County/Tampa, on August 4, 2022.

In January, following a trial that was also expedited, Federal Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that DeSantis violated both the Florida and U.S. Constitutions by suspending Warren for politically motivated reasons. “The record includes not a hint of misconduct by Mr. Warren,” Hinkle wrote. However, Judge Hinkle stated he did not have the authority to reinstate Warren.

Warren’s appeal asserts that the federal court accurately found that DeSantis broke the law but mistakenly concluded it lacked authority to reinstate him.

“A federal judge already found that DeSantis’ illegal suspension violated both the Florida and U.S. Constitutions, and we look forward to our next day in court to continue fighting for free speech, democracy, and the rule of law,” Warren said.

Wednesday's appeals court ruling sets out an expedited schedule for the steps ahead: The initial brief from Warren is due on March 13; the response brief from DeSantis is due April 12; and if Warren wishes to file a reply brief, it is due April 26. Oral arguments to decide the case will be held the week of May 1 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Warren is also petitioning the Florida Supreme Court for reinstatement through a separate lawsuit.