Federal Judge Dismisses Disney’s Lawsuit Against DeSantis

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Disney filed against Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a Wednesday decision.

Disney alleged in the suit filed in April that DeSantis launched a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” against the company after it criticized a bill prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The governor later stripped Disney of its self-governing status granted to the company through the Reedy Creek Improvement District Act of 1967.

DeSantis and other defendants requested that the lawsuit be dismissed because they could not be sued over constitutionally enacted state laws. United States District Judge Allen Winsor granted the DeSantis administration their wish, arguing Disney “lacks standing” to sue DeSantis and his administration because they cannot sue based on “facially constitutional” statutes.

“In short, Disney lacks standing to sue the Governor or the Secretary, and its claims against the CFTOD Defendants fail on the merits because ‘when a statute is facially constitutional, a plaintiff cannot bring a free-speech challenge by claiming that the lawmakers who passed it acted with a constitutionally impermissible purpose,'” Winsor wrote.

He argued Disney has failed to demonstrate any “injury” attributable to DeSantis or the secretary of Florida’s Commerce Department. He further ruled Disney’s claims “fail on the merits” against members of the board of a special improvement district that operates the park and resort. (RELATED: ‘Treated On A Pedestal’: Gov. DeSantis Says Disney’s ‘Wokeness’ Will ‘Destroy This Country’)

The Reedy Creek Improvement District Act created the Walt Disney Company into a “special tax district,” which granted Disney the same authority and responsibility as a county government. Since DeSantis revoked its self-governing status, Disney World and all its properties are regulated by Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida.

A Disney spokesperson said the fight against DeSantis’ administration will “not end” as this decision could allegedly cause a “dangerous precedent” to allow the state government to “weaponize” their powers for political purposes, according to CNBC.

“This is an important case with serious implications for the rule of law, and it will not end here,” the spokesperson said, according to the outlet.

Christina Pushaw, a previous staffer on DeSantis’ presidential campaign, said, “I’m not tired of winning — that’s why I live in Florida.”