Florida’s Top Court Agrees with DeSantis, Refuses to Bring Back Former State Attorney!

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, denying an effort by Democratic State Attorney Monique Worrell to be reinstated after her suspension from office last year. The justices voted 6-1 on Thursday to reject Worrell’s request for reinstatement following her removal from her Orlando-based district in August.

The court’s majority disagreed with Worrell’s arguments that DeSantis’ reasons for her suspension were too vague and that her removal infringed on her prosecutorial discretion rights. DeSantis suspended Worrell from the 9th Judicial Circuit, citing alleged “neglect of duty” and asserting that her administration of criminal justice was “clearly and fundamentally derelict.”

Florida's Top Court Agrees with DeSantis, Refuses to Bring Back Former State Attorney!

Worrell, elected in 2020 and running for re-election in 2024, claimed her suspension was politically motivated, occurring during DeSantis’ presidential campaign. She argued that her actions were within her prosecutorial discretion and that the state’s constitution allows suspension only for egregious misconduct.

Justice Jorge Labarga, the sole dissenting voice and appointed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009, emphasized that state attorneys need discretion to address community challenges in a large state like Florida.

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This case marks another instance of DeSantis removing state attorneys. In 2022, he suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren for “neglect of duty” after Warren refused to enforce bans on abortion and transgender-related surgeries. The decision highlights the ongoing tension between the governor’s office and elected local officials over the administration of justice in Florida.

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