DeSantis Seeks Dismissal of Disney’s Lawsuit

Attorneys for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Disney, alleging a violation of free speech rights following state actions against the company.

During the hearing in Tallahassee, DeSantis’ legal team argued that the governor is immune from such lawsuits, as he doesn’t enforce the laws that led to the removal of Disney’s control over its governing district.

Disney claims these actions were in retaliation for opposing Florida’s law banning classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades.

The Battle for Control

The lawsuit’s outcome will influence who controls the Disney World governing district, responsible for services like planning and firefighting over a 40-square-mile area in central Florida.

This case, presided over by Judge Allen Winsor, intersects with a parallel state court lawsuit in Orlando regarding district control.

DeSantis contends that Disney lacks the standing to file the federal lawsuit. He argues that neither he nor the secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, also named in the suit, have the power to enforce the laws that shifted district control from Disney to the governor’s appointees.

Disney’s Accusations Against DeSantis

In response to DeSantis’ motion to dismiss, Disney has accused the governor and his appointees of using political power to punish opposing viewpoints.

“That premise is not just legally unsupported, it is profoundly un-American,” stated Disney in court documents.

The feud began after Disney publicly opposed the state’s “don’t say gay” law, leading to legislative actions by DeSantis and Republican legislators. Since the district’s takeover, there has been a significant staff departure, with concerns about politicization and cronyism cited in exit interviews.

With information from ABC News.

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