Florida Supreme Court sides with DeSantis, denies reinstating former state attorney


Florida’s state Supreme Court sided with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and denied an effort by a Democratic state attorney to be reinstated after she was removed from office last year.

The justices voted 6-1 Thursday to deny State Attorney Monique Worrell’s request to be reinstated after she was suspended from her Orlando-based district last August.

The Supreme Court justices who denied her request said they disagreed with her arguments that DeSantis’ reasons for suspending her were too vague or that her removal infringed on her lawful rights of prosecutorial discretion, The Associated Press reported.

At a press briefing last year, DeSantis said he was suspending Worrell from the 9th Judicial Circuit for an alleged “neglect of duty.”

She was elected to serve in 2020 and was running for reelection in 2024. The governor said her administration of criminal justice was “clearly and fundamentally derelict so as to constitute both neglect of duty and incompetence.”

Worrell said her suspension was politically motivated since it took place when DeSantis was still running his presidential campaign. She said she was doing her job as she saw fit and the state’s constitution only allows for someone to be suspected for egregious misconduct, the AP reported.

The news service noted that five of the seven Florida Supreme Court justices were appointed by DeSantis.

Justice Jorge Labarga, appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009, said state attorneys must have the discretion to address challenges in their communities since Florida is a big state.

This is not the first time DeSantis has removed a state attorney. 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.

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