Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) likely won’t have to testify at trial in the case of the county prosecutor he suspended earlier this year for refusing to prosecute abortion cases, according to reports.
DeSantis suspended the Democrat singled out Hillsborough County State’s Attorney Andrew Warren for “neglect of duty” in August after Warren signed a letter saying he would not enforce bans or bans on abortion or sex-reassignment surgery for minors.
Warren saw sued DeSantis to get his job back, alleging that Florida’s governor had suspended him from his position in violation of his First Amendment rights.
Multiple outlets are now reporting that during a Wednesday pretrial conference, a U.S. District Court judge granted a motion that DeSantis not have to testify at trial, but said Warren’s legal team could request to re-open the case later in the trial, according to POLITICS.
However, Warren’s attorneys have said they do not plan to call DeSantis to the stand to testify, according to Law and crime.
The attorney general’s ouster came amid controversy over Florida’s 15 week abortion ban and in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision that overturn Roe v. Wade and transfer the regulation of abortion to the individual states.
Warren swore not going down without a fight after the suspension.
“I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms to speak your mind, to make your own health care decisions and to make your voice count,” Warren said when he announced over the summer that he would mount a “vigorous defence” over the case.
POLITICO reports that exhibits from the case indicate the DeSantis team tried to take advantage of Warren’s suspension and planned media coverage of the move. The governor was also in the midst of campaigning for re-election in the state midterm elections.