Florida Supreme Court Backs DeSantis on Removal of Soros-Backed Prosecutor – State of the Union

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The Florida Supreme Court upheld Governor Ron DeSantis’s removal of Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Monique Worrell, finding that the governor has the authority under the state constitution to suspend elected officials for cause such as “neglect of duty” or “incompetence.”

Worrell had implemented progressive criminal justice reforms that reduced sentences and led some criminals to avoid incarceration altogether.

DeSantis argued these reforms undermined Florida law and public safety.

“The practices and policies of her office have allowed murderers, other violent offenders, and dangerous drug traffickers to receive extremely reduced sentences and escape the full consequences of their criminal conduct. In some cases, these offenders have evaded incarceration altogether,” DeSantis said of Worrell.

“State Attorney Worrell’s practices undermine Florida law and endanger the safety, security, and welfare of the communities that Ms. Worrell was elected to serve,” DeSantis added.

While Worrell claimed her removal was political and challenged it in court, the Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the allegations in DeSantis’s executive order removing Worrell were valid and did not infringe on prosecutorial discretion, since they involved blanket policy changes rather than individual case decisions.

“We cannot agree with Worrell that the allegations in the Executive Order are impermissibly vague, nor that they address conduct that falls within the lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” the court wrote.

“We have said that a suspension order does not infringe on a state attorney’s lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion where it alleges that such discretion is, in fact, not being exercised in individual cases but, rather, that generalized policies have resulted in categorical enforcement practices,” the opinion added.

The ruling was seen as a victory for DeSantis’s power as governor to suspend officials not properly carrying out their duties, and a setback for Soros-backed progressive prosecutors advocating “soft-on-crime” approaches.

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