Florida Supreme Court Upholds DeSantis’ Removal Of Soros-Backed Prosecutor Monique Worrel

In a 6-1 decision on Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over his controversial removal of State Attorney Monique Worrel from her position in August 2023. DeSantis had accused Worrel of “dereliction of duty” due to her lenient approach to crime, a move that sparked a legal battle when Worrel sued the DeSantis Administration, demanding reinstatement and claiming her firing was an “arbitrary, unsubstantiated exercise of the suspension power.”

The majority opinion of the court firmly rejected Worrel’s arguments, stating, “We cannot agree with Worrel 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 further clarified that a suspension order does not infringe on a state attorney’s lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion when it alleges that such discretion is not being exercised in individual cases and that generalized policies have resulted in categorical enforcement practices.

DeSantis, who had previously touted Worrel’s removal as a significant accomplishment during his unsuccessful presidential campaign, had accused her office of allowing “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, he claimed, offenders had even evaded incarceration altogether.

Worrel’s 2020 election campaign had received significant support from Our Vote Our Voice, a left-wing group that had received $1 million from Democracy Now, a far-left organization backed by billionaire George Soros. Our Vote Our Voice subsequently spent $1.5 million in support of Worrel’s campaign.

This isn’t the first time DeSantis has removed a prosecutor in the state. In August 2022, he fired Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren over his refusal to enforce the state’s abortion ban, a removal that was also upheld in federal court.

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision marks a significant victory for DeSantis and his tough-on-crime policies, while dealing a blow to progressive prosecutors who have faced criticism for their lenient approaches to law enforcement.