Florida Supreme Court denies former State Attorney Monique Worrell's petition against Gov. DeSantis

The Florida Supreme Court denied Monique Worrell's petition against Governor Ron DeSantis following her suspension in 2023. 

According to court documents, the Supreme Court concluded that DeSantis met the constitutional mandate by specifying the "applicable grounds for suspension." DeSantis named the grounds for Worrell's suspension and provided factual allegations relating to the suspension. 

The Supreme Court also noted that they could not agree with Worrell about the vagueness of DeSantis' executive order because the constitution prohibits the courts from examining or determining the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the "facts." 

Worrell issued a statement in response to the state's decision saying: 

"Today’s opinion is disappointing but not a surprise. The governor appointed most of the justices on Florida’s Supreme Court. They took the easy way out by refusing to examine whether the governor’s claims had any factual basis. They do not, and the Court today, with the exception of the dissenting justice, rubber-stamped a political stunt. There is no evidence that citizens in the Ninth Circuit have experienced a higher rate of violent crime based on my administration’s "practices or policies," and the Executive Order is notably silent on violent crime statistics. Those statistics show that violent crime rates are lower in the Ninth Circuit during my tenure than they have been over the past ten years. We treated people equitably and fairly and worked to hold law enforcement accountable—which the governor does not like. I still believe in the right of voters to choose their State Attorney, even if Florida’s politics currently do not respect this principle. When I am reelected, I will continue putting public safety and accountability above politics. I wish the governor would do the same."

On August 9, 2023, DeSantis accused Worrell of neglecting her duty as a state in the ninth judicial district, which covers Orange and Osceola Counties, alleging that her practices and policies allowed too many violent criminals to escape the full consequences of their criminal conduct. As a result, DeSantis said Worrell's actions endangered those living in both counties. 

Worrell was accused of allowing drug traffickers, serious juvenile offenders, and pedophiles to evade jail time. DeSantis also alleged Worrell authorized policies that prevented her former office from obtaining meritorious, mandatory minimum sentences. 


In December 2023, the court heard arguments from both sides. 

Worrell's lawyers argued that the suspension did not meet a high bar set in the Florida Constitution, warning that allowing it to remain in place would have a "chilling" effect on prosecutors statewide and undermine the will of voters who overwhelmingly elected Worrell in 2020.

DeSantis’ attorney, however, countered that Worrell’s suspension as state attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orange and Osceola counties was justified and argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter.

Although Worrell was suspended for the rest of the duration of her term, she has qualified to appear on the 2024 ballot.