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Court sends case of prosecutor suspended by DeSantis back to trial judge over First Amendment issues

By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Democratic Florida prosecutor suspended by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will get another chance to show his political advocacy was protected by the First Amendment and could not be the basis for his removal. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case involving ex-prosecutor Andrew Warren back to a trial judge in Tallahassee to determine if the governor’s suspension was improperly focused on statements Warren signed along with other prosecutors opposing certain legislation to criminalize abortion and gender care. DeSantis cited those statements in his 2022 suspension of Warren, whom he replaced with Republican Suzy Lopez as the Tampa-based state attorney. Warren, who had been elected twice, recently announced he would not run again this year.

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