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Judge denies motion to reinstate State Attorney Andrew Warren following suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Warren over abortion ban, gender-affirming care
Ousted Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, Sept. 19, 2022
Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 18:26:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Ousted Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren isn't returning to his post — at least not yet.

A federal judge said Monday he would deny Warren's preliminary injunction in a forthcoming written order.

It would have temporarily restored the Hillsborough County prosecutor to office.

That's after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Warren's suspension last month, alleging neglect of duty.

Northern District Judge Robert Hinkle didn't rule on the merits of the case — but said the record on what led to Warren's ouster was incomplete, lacking evidence from DeSantis' office.

WATCH: DeSantis announces suspension of Warren

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspends Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren for 'neglect of duty'

The judge also worried granting the injunction could be disruptive — potentially fluctuating Warren back in and out of office during appeals.

Instead, Hinkle wanted a trial as soon as possible for a more definitive answer.

Warren took the ruling in stride.

"The judge was very clear. He wants to get this right once and for all," Warren said. "We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain his decision and explain to the court why he thinks what he did was in compliance with federal law and state law."

DeSantis suspended Warren on Aug. 4 after he signed pledges to not prosecute violations of Florida's new 15-week abortion ban or criminalize gender-affirming care.

Warren has claimed he was expressing his right to free speech.

Attorneys will now determine a timeline for a full trial, which could happen in the next three months.

In a statement, the governor's communications director, Taryn Fenske, said the following about Monday's ruling:

"We are pleased that the court denied Andrew Warren's request for a preliminary injunction. The Governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law."