In Florida, some sheriffs have vowed not to enforce gun control laws they oppose and believe are unconstitutional. And Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren has vowed not to prosecute any women seeking abortions from their doctors; Warren has also vowed to protect transgender minors undergoing gender transition treatment.
Far-right Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t gone after anti-gun control sheriffs, but the Orlando Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher reports that he has gone after Warren.
On Thursday, August 4, DeSantis declared, “We are not going to allow this pathogen that’s been around the country of ignoring the law. We are not going to let that get a foothold here in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis, Swisher reports, “said he ordered the statewide review because he was concerned prosecutors selectively enforce laws based on their political beliefs.” And Swisher adds that “only Warren was deemed to have taken positions that justified a suspension from office, DeSantis said.”
Democratic State Rep. Dan Daley, according to Swisher, is calling DeSantis out as hypocritical. Swisher quotes Daley as saying, “All you have to do is Google ‘Florida sheriff not enforcing,’ and there are so many examples, mostly related to guns. If this is the game you are going to play and tell me it’s not political, you better start suspending those people too.”
Swisher notes that Seminole County, Florida Sheriff Dennis Lemma “told gun activists he wouldn’t enforce a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would require owners of semiautomatic weapons to register them with the state.”
“The governor can suspend county officers and state officers not subject to impeachment for ‘malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony’ as outlined by Florida law,” Swisher reports. “The Florida Senate decides whether to permanently remove the officer. DeSantis cited ‘neglect of duty’ and ‘incompetence’ in the order suspending Warren. In the order, DeSantis accused Warren of implementing a policy of ‘presumptive non enforcement’ of certain criminal violations, including ‘trespassing at a business location, disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication and prostitution.’ The suspension order doesn’t mention any specific cases, instead focusing on Warren’s policy positions. Warren said he hasn’t had any cases referred to his office involving abortion or gender-transition treatments.”