Florida Supreme Court Upholds DeSantis’ Suspension of Orlando Prosecutor

The Supreme Court of Florida has upheld Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of former state attorney Monique Worrell in a ruling issued on Thursday.

In August 2023, the governor issued an executive order suspending Ms. Worrell, the state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit, which serves metro Orlando, for “neglecting her duty to faithfully prosecute crime in her jurisdiction.”

Ms. Worrell, a Democrat, called the suspension a “political hit job.“ The Florida Democratic Party, which described Ms. Worrell as a ”devoted public servant,“ said the governor had ”gone too far.”

Her removal raised questions over the governor’s suspension powers and the role of prosecutorial discretion in the criminal justice system.

In their per curiam decision, the justices noted their limited role in reviewing the governor’s suspension power. They state that their task was twofold: determining whether applicable grounds were specified for the suspension and whether the allegations reasonably relate to the basis for the suspension.

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Ron DeSantis by Gage Skidmore is licensed under commons.wikimedia

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