In a high-profile case where Disney sued the Florida governor, a federal judge who has ruled against Ron DeSantis in the past will reportedly no longer preside over it.
On the basis of remarks he made in court on the ongoing dispute between the entertainment behemoth and Republican governor, the state previously sought to have U.S. Chief District Judge Mark Walker removed from his position.
DeSantis, who campaigned for president, made his conflict with Disney a centerpiece of his political persona.
On Thursday, Walker referred to the state’s move as “meritless.”
However, he said he will step down from the investigation after learning last week that a “third-degree” cousin of his who has not been named owns 30 shares of Disney stock.
Disney’s resistance to Florida’s “parental rights in education” statute, which forbids classroom discussion regarding gender identity or sexual orientation in lower grades, sparked a spat with DeSantis that began last year. Disney’s vocal resistance to the “Don’t Say Gay” rule, as it was dubbed by its detractors, prompted Florida to take away the company’s self-governing authority over hundreds of acres in central Florida.