A lot of contemporary controversies can be summed up in a headline and there’s nothing the players have to say beyond that, that’s worth listening to.
Gov. DeSantis of Florida has sharp elbows, and he used them to suspend a Soros DA who refused to follow the state’s laws on transgender child sex mutilation and abortion, and replaced with a Latino female Republican DA, but he also understands the bigger picture and has something to say about it that’s worth hearing beyond the headlines and the bullet points.
“Our government is a government of laws, not a government of men, and what that means is that we govern ourselves based on a Constitutional system, and based on the rule of law,” DeSantis said. “What we’ve seen over the past few years is individual prosecutors take it upon themselves to determine which laws they like and will enforce, and which laws they don’t like and don’t enforce.”
DeSantis said this has had “catastrophic” results in places like Los Angeles, Cali. and San Francisco, saying the policies have been “devastating to the rule of law,” in addition to hurting communities and undermining public safety. He said as he “saw it happening” across the United States, he asked his staff to review Florida prosecutors to see where that may be happening in the Sunshine State. Officials spoke with prosecutors and law enforcement around Florida during the review process.
“It all came back to this area in the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County,” DeSantis said. “The response we got was a lot of frustration, on the part of law enforcement for criminals being let go and crimes not being prosecuted.”
The governor cited letters that Warren signed off on, which DeSantis said pledged not to “enforce any prohibitions on sex changes for minors.” The governor said Warren’s position was “that it doesn’t matter what the legislature does in the state of Florida, he’s going to exercise a veto over that,” and having a policy of “presumptive nonenforcement”, which DeSantis said was not consistent with the job a prosecutor is required to do. In June, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade through the Dobbs decision, DeSantis said Warren had pledged not to enforce any abortion-related laws “protecting the right to life” in Florida.
Ever since the Obama era, prosecutorial discretion has taken off and it amounts to officials and lefty prosecutors deciding to effectively legalize certainly illegal actions.
Gov. DeSantis is right to connect Warren’s actions with the general trend of prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases which has effectively legalized a laundry list of crimes from drugs to shoplifting to some kinds of assault to broken windows offenses in major cities across the country.
It also ought to be connected with the federal culture of immigration enforcement discretion turning into presumptive legalization under Obama and really hitting its stride under Biden where open borders has been redefined as “focusing immigration enforcement on violent offenders”.
In the last 15 years, the Left decided to mainstream legalization through non-enforcement in a variety of spheres and there’s been little talk about the larger philosophy and even not that much discussion of the direct consequences of those actions.
What we’re seeing with open borders and urban crime waves is, in part, “discretion” in action.
DeSantis is right. “Presumptive nonenforcement” is a nuclear attack on the rule of law.
Democrats clamor that DeSantis, in suspending the Soros DA, is attacking democracy. They claim to want democracy when throwing out the rule of law, but when democracy doesn’t go their way, suddenly they do want the rule of law.
That is exactly what a government of laws, not men is about.