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Suspended Hillsborough state attorney Andrew Warren's trial against Ron DeSantis is set to begin

Andrew Warren, left, and Ron DeSantis standing at podiums
Chris O'Meara
/
AP
This combination of photos shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, and Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, left, in Tampa, after DeSantis suspended Warren.

Starting Tuesday, a U.S. District Court judge will hear arguments over whether DeSantis exceeded his powers by suspending Warren for "neglect of duty." The trial is expected to last 3-5 days.

A trial begins Tuesday over whether Gov. Ron DeSantis exceeded his powers and violated the First Amendment right to free speech for suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren.

Warren filed the suit after DeSantis suspended him for a "neglect of duty" in August, citing Warren's previous comments that he would not enforce any current or potential state laws regarding abortion or transgender health care.

READ MORE: Coverage of Andrew Warren's suspension

Warren will appear before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee, seeking to reverse the suspension.

“I’m not going down without a fight," Warren, elected Hillsborough state attorney in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, said in a video announcing he would seek legal action.

"I’m a former federal prosecutor, the duly elected State Attorney, a native Floridian, and a proud American. I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms to speak your mind, to make your own healthcare decisions, and to have your vote count.”

DeSantis will not have to appear after Hinkle granted a motion last week saying he doesn't have to testify.

But Hinkle said Warren's attorneys could ask him later to reconsider having the governor appear.

"As things now stand, the governor's not going to be testifying. And I guess I should tell both sides I think it's very unlikely that the situation would change," Hinkle said.

The trial is expected to last 3-5 days, according to a news release issued by Warren.

WUSF staff writer Steve Newborn contributed to this report.

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