A federal judge declared that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis does not need to testify over his decision to suspend Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, Politico reported.
The U.S. District Court's decision comes after Warren sued the Republican governor's cabinet, alleging his First Amendment rights were violated when he was terminated for promising not to enforce the state's 15-week abortion ban.
"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," Warren said of DeSantis over the summer regarding Florida's abortion law.
In rebuke, DeSantis' attorneys argued that he "reasonably construed Mr. Warren's statements to be either blanket refusals to enforce Florida law or evidence that Mr. Warren was grossly ignorant of his official responsibilities."
Warren's attorneys informed the court that, regardless, they don't plan on pushing DeSantis to testify. But the lawyers also said they might request the governor to testify depending on the content of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's case.
"Ron DeSantis has never been short on things to say about his suspension of Andrew Warren," Warren attorney Jean-Jacques Cabou laid out in a written response to a DeSantis team legal briefing, according to Law and Crime.
"Defendant DeSantis announced Mr. Warren's suspension in a made-for-TV rally at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on August 4, 2022. Later that day, he went on Fox News for a one-on-one segment with Tucker Carlson about the suspension, speaking for several minutes in response to the question, 'Why did you do it?'"
But Judge Robert Hinkle said that "it's very unlikely the situation would change" on whether DeSantis would be required to testify, serving as a big win for the governor's administration.
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