- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended a state attorney.
- The state attorney, Andrew Warren, recently said he wouldn't enforce Florida's 15-week abortion ban.
- He has also supported progressive criminal justice reforms.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he was suspending a Democratic state attorney for refusing to enforce Florida laws including the state's new abortion ban.
The state attorney, Andrew Warren, has represented Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa Bay, since 2016 and has implemented progressive criminal justice reforms including prioritizing violent crime and decreasing the number of people arrested and incacerated for first-time, non-violent offenses.
DeSantis, a Republican, accused Warren of selectively picking which laws to enforce during his tenure.
"We don't elect people in one part of the state to have veto power over what the entire state decides on these important issues," DeSantis, a Republican, said at a press event planked by law enforcement officers in Tampa, Florida.
The Warren suspension was for "neglect of duty," according to a release from the governor's office. Judge Susan Lopez of Hillsborough County will be state attorney during Warren's suspension.
"We really believe this is a law and order state," DeSantis said at the press conference. "We are not going to back down from that one inch."
Florida's abortion ban makes it illegal to terminate a pregnancy after 15 weeks, including in cases of rape or incest — though the law is being contested in court.
Warren said in June that he wouldn't enforce it. He was among 83 prosecutors who signed a letter this summer promising not to prosecute abortion bans. The letter came in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that previously legalized abortion nationally. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling in June, turning the legalization of abortion to the states.
"Not criminalizing a decision that mothers make with her families with her doctors enforcing arbitrary bans on abortion enforcing a law that doesn't actually promote public safety is something that prosecutors should not be doing," Warren said, according to Fox 13.
DeSantis is up for reelection in November. Rumors have swirled that he'll seek the White House in 2024, largely due to his high-profile clashes with the Biden administration, massive campaign warchest, and frequent national headlines.
"When you say you are not going to enforce laws you don't like," DeSantis said, "that's a neglect of duty."
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
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