On Wednesday, within 12 hours of attorneys for Warren filing a motion in federal court to challenge the suspension, the Florida Senate temporarily halted its process to consider removing Warren, Simpson said in a press release.
“Senate counsel notes the pending litigation challenges the entirety of the executive order,” Simpson, a Republican, wrote in his letter Wednesday to Warren and all state senators. “Therefore, the basis for any future Senate proceeding will be impacted by the current litigation.”
In his letter, Simpson asked that senators suspend proceedings related to Warren’s suspension until “a final determination in this pending litigation is rendered.”
Warren’s lawsuit alleges that DeSantis violated the state attorney’s First Amendment rights and exceeded DeSantis’ authority as governor under Florida statute. In his suit, Warren asks the court to order DeSantis to rescind the executive order suspending him and to restore him to office.
Under Florida law, a governor can remove “any county officer” for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony.
Warren argued on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday that the “Florida Constitution sets very limited parameters under which a governor can suspend an elected official” and that DeSantis was trying to “substitute his judgment for that of the voters who elected me.”
“He can’t just throw out people’s votes because he disagrees with something that I’ve said,” Warren said of the governor.
On Wednesday, Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, told CNN, “It’s not surprising Warren, who was suspended for refusing to follow the law, would file a legally baseless lawsuit challenging his suspension.
“We look forward to responding in court,” Fenske added.
CNN’s Steve Contorno and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.