Suspended Sheriff Scott Israel’s attorneys accuse Gov. Ron DeSantis of unconstitutional  ‘power grab’

Attorneys for suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel accused Gov. Ron DeSantis of an unconstitutional “power grab” aimed at their client, and heaped scorn on the legal arguments the governor used to justify his action.

“Aided by hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, and political scapegoating, the Governor offers a false narrative, devoid of actual facts, that Sheriff Israel is responsible” for the Feb. 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, in which 17 people were killed, and the Jan. 6, 2017, shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in which five people were killed, Israel’s attorneys wrote.

In a filing late Wednesday afternoon with the Florida Supreme Court, Israel’s attorneys Stuart Kaplan and Benedict Kuehne argued that a legal motion filed a day earlier by the governor’s office admits that “the suspension at issue here Is nothing more than an executive power grab that is outside the Governor’s limited powers authorized by the Florida Constitution.”

They accused the governor’s side of filing an “intentionally inflammatory diatribe” and they repeatedly attempt to cast doubt on DeSantis’ arguments by putting the word “facts” in quotation marks.

The governor’s attorneys even belittled Israel’s attempt to get court intervention, accusing him of “grasping at straws,” and criticized his “continued delay tactics.”

Israel’s filing was a reply to DeSantis’ argument, much of which repeated the original arguments, including the suspended sheriff’s contention that the actions DeSantis cited took place before he took office. Israel also asserts that DeSantis’ suspension was a campaign promise from the governor that amounts to “political payback to the National Rifle Association.”

Kuehne and Kaplan also wrote that the citizens of Broward elected Israel and “it is for the citizens of Broward County to determine whether Sheriff Israel acted in the public interest when they decide who to elect as their sheriff in November 2020.” Broward Democrats have made a similar argument defending Israel, who was removed by the Republican governor.

The Supreme Court received Israel’s filing at 4:57 p.m., just three minutes before the deadline.

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