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Amended lawsuit says DeSantis ‘disenfranchised’ voters by suspending Orlando-area State’s Attorney Monique Worrell | Orlando

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Photo courtesy of Monique Worrell/Twitter

An amended federal lawsuit alleging that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of Orlando County District Attorney Monique Worrell “disenfranchised” voters alleges that DeSantis’ decision violated due process and First Amendment rights.

Voter attorneys David Caicedo and Rajib Chowdhury and the group Florida Rising Together filed an amended version of the lawsuit in Orlando on June 28 after U.S. District Judge Julie Sneed dismissed an earlier version in May.

Last August, DeSantis issued an executive order suspending Worrell, a Democrat elected in 2020 to the 9th Judicial District, which covers Orange and Osceola counties.

Among other things, the executive order alleged that Worrell’s policies prevented or discouraged assistant state attorneys from seeking minimum mandatory sentences for firearms and drug trafficking offenses. But the amended complaint, which names DeSantis as a defendant, said that “in carrying out her campaign promises to reform the criminal justice system, Ms. Worrell did nothing more than fulfill her professional and ethical duties and exercise her prosecutorial authority.”

He argues the suspension violated voters’ due process and First Amendment rights and seeks to have DeSantis’ executive order declared unconstitutional.

“Governor DeSantis abrogated Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights of association and expression when he abused his suspension authority under Florida law,” the amended complaint reads.

Although Sneed dismissed the original lawsuit, she said the plaintiffs could file an amended complaint. DeSantis appointed Andrew Bain, who had served as an Orange County judge, to succeed Worrell as state attorney.

Worrell is running again for the seat in November. The Florida Supreme Court, in a separate case, upheld the suspension in a June 6 decision.

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