The lawsuit filed by the Walt Disney Company against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was dismissed by a federal magistrate. DeSantis and state legislators revoked the organization’s self-governing status in 2023, prompting Disney to file suit.
DeSantis, backed by Republican legislators, dissolved a special district that had governed Walt Disney World for over half a century and located near Orlando.
After the CEO of Disney opposed a law restricting the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, he took action. Critics referred to the Parental Rights in Education Act as the “Don’t Say Gay” Act.
The Republican-controlled legislature of Florida established the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, a new special district governed by the Republican governor’s appointees, in response to DeSantis’ request.
Disney filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that DeSantis was punishing the company in retaliation for exercising its freedom of expression under the First Amendment. Additionally, Disney canceled its $1 billion campus in Florida.
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed the case in a 17-page order, stating that Disney lacks standing to suit the governor.
The judge further stated that although Disney could file a lawsuit against the newly appointed board by DeSantis, the company had failed to provide any substantiating evidence that the board’s actions had negatively impacted the organization.
Winsor further stated that plaintiffs are precluded from initiating a free speech challenge against laws that have been constitutionally enacted.
[READ MORE: Jim Jordan Hits Fani Willis With Subpoena]