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 June 28, 2023

DeSantis requests federal judge toss Disney's lawsuit against him

The fight between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continued on it roller coaster of twists and turns this week. 

According to The Daily Wire, the popular Republican governor asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that the entertainment company filed against him, citing a lack of standing.

Disney, in its suit, claimed that DeSantis ran a "targeted campaign of government retaliation" against it after DeSantis and the Florida Legislature all but dismantled Reedy Creek, which provided the theme park company special tax benefits and a high degree of autonomy.

DeSantis argued that he is "immune from suit" given the parameters of Disney's legal case against him.

"Although Disney grabbed headlines by suing the Governor, Disney — like many litigants before it who have challenged Florida’s laws — has no basis for doing so. Neither the Governor nor the Secretary [of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity] enforce any of the laws at issue, so Disney lacks standing to sue them," the motion to dismiss read.

He cited multiple precedents in his attempt to convince the Florida-based federal judge to toss the lawsuit.

The Daily Wire noted:

Disney argued that the state’s move to strip the company’s special tax status was in response to the company’s criticism of the state’s Parental Rights in Education Act, known by its critics by its misnomer — the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, to which DeSantis subsequently responded by calling Disney a “woke corporation.”

After the initial spat, DeSantis moved to hinder Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) by replacing it with what's now called the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.” (CFTOD)

Reedy Creek's board members were ultimately replaced with a host of DeSantis' political allies, presumably in order to keep control of the situation.

Florida states' attorneys argued that Disney's lawsuit is "meritless," adding that they believe, "a special district cannot bind the State to transfer a portion of its sovereign authority to a private entity."

Notably, in yet another twist, Disney asked for the lawsuit against the governor, who's also a top-tier 2024 Republican presidential candidate, to begin the lawsuit on the same day the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Social media users torched the idea, calling it possibly "election interference."

Only time will tell if DeSantis is able to convince the judge to dismiss the suit.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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