DeSantis Lawyers Define ‘Woke’ In Court: A Belief In Systemic Injustices And The Need To Fix Them

DeSantis Lawyers Define ‘Woke’ In Court: A Belief In Systemic Injustices And The Need To Fix Them


Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Nov. 7, 2022, in Hialeah, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

On August 4, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, a Democrat, for incompetence and neglect of duty. The governor pointed to two pledges Warren had signed not to prosecute abortion and gender-affirming cases. DeSantis openly criticized Warren’s “woke” politics.

Warren took DeSants=is to court over his firing. He has asked the court to reinstate him because the suspension violated his First Amendment rights.

There was a three-day trial in which Warren challenged his firing. During the trial, which ended Dec. 1, attorneys for Warren questioned aides for DeSantis, who called Florida the place where “woke goes to die” in his victory speech after being reelected last, about what “woke” means.

During the trial, Warren, a twice-elected Hillsborough state attorney, argued for his job back.

“The governor’s order is just based on pure conjecture and lies about what he thinks I’m going to do with cases that haven’t even come before me yet,” Warren said.

Warren’s attorney Jean-Jacques Cabou noted DeSantis referred to Warren in his announcement of the suspension as a “woke ideologue” who “masqueraded” as a prosecutor. Cabou then asked some DeSantis officials what “woke” means to them.

According to the governor’s general counsel, Ryan Newman, “woke” means “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.”

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He added that DeSantis doesn’t believe there are systemic injustices in the country, reported Florida Politics.

“To me, it means someone who believes that there are systemic injustices in the criminal justice system, and on that basis, they can decline to fully enforce and uphold the law,” Newman said.

Newman added that DeSantis doesn’t believe there are systemic injustices in the U.S. He also emphasized he believed Warren’s “wokeism” led him to sign the pledge not to prosecute abortion crimes, the primary factor that led to his suspension.

DeSantis communications director Taryn Fenske described “woke” as a “slang term for activism…progressive activism.”

U.S. Federal Judge Robert Hinkle said he will begin reviewing the case in two weeks.

If Warren wins, he will be reinstated immediately and the acting state attorney, Suzy Lopez, who was appointed by the governor, will have to step down.

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign rally, Nov. 7, 2022, in Hialeah, Fla. The long-rumored memoir by Gov. DeSantis is coming out next year. The HarperCollins imprint Broadside will release “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” on Feb. 28. The announcement, Nov. 30, 2022 comes in the wake of DeSantis’ decisive reelection victory and will likely add to speculation that he plans a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)