Judge Rejects Disney’s Lawsuit Accusing Florida Gov. DeSantis of Retaliation

(ReliableNews.org) – In early 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a parental rights bill that many referred to as “Don’t Say Gay.” Disney, the most prominent company in the state, spoke out against the legislation, prompting what the company claimed was an unconstitutional backlash from the governor and others against Disney’s First Amendment rights. The entertainment company sued and the judge on the case recently responded to the suit.

On January 31, CNBC reported that the judge, Allen Winsor, ruled that Disney didn’t have legal standing to sue at least two of the defendants listed — DeSantis and the Commerce Department Secretary. The only party Winsor agreed met the three elements of the standing rule were claims against the newly formed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), agreeing that the loss of Disney’s special Reedy Creek district could be directly linked to the group.

To prevail on Disney’s claims of retaliation against the governor, Windsor said the company would have to prove an upcoming injury in the future, not something that happened in the past. He said Disney lacked jurisdiction to sue DeSantis and the secretary and failed to “state a claim” against the CFTOD board set in place by the Florida leader.

According to the judge, a previous court ruling showed a plaintiff can’t bring a free speech case based on a law that meets constitutional requirements, claiming that the legislators “acted with constitutionally impermissible purpose.”

While the CFTOD chairman, Martin Garcia, was happy about Winsor’s decision to dismiss the case, CNBC stated the oversight group isn’t out of the woods yet. There’s still a pending Disney case against the members regarding a development issue. DeSantis’ spokesperson was not shocked by the news

Disney plans to appeal. A spokesperson for the company said if Disney gives up, the precedent will be set for any state government to wield its power against anyone who doesn’t agree with its viewpoint.

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