Disney First Amendment Lawsuit Against DeSantis Thrown Out By Federal Judge

by William A. Jacobson at legalinsurrection.com

We have followed the fight between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis since the start. The core of the fight was the State of Florida’s attempt to wrestle back control of the Reedy Creek District specially created for Disney, giving it government-within-a-government special status.

Disney claimed DeSantis was violating Disney’s rights as retaliation for Disney opposing DeSantis’ legislation restricting sexualized teaching in K-3 (falsely called the “Don’t Say Gay” law by propagandists). Disney sued claiming a violation of its First Amendment Rights. We covered the lawsuit in Disney sues DeSantis and Florida over Reedy Creek District Control:

The State of Florida passed legislation taking back control of the Reedy Creek District where Disney operates, effectively ending Disney’s unusual state-within-a-state autonomy. On the eve of the legislation taking effect, the District (controlled by Disney) passed restrictive covenants preserving their autonomy and nullifying the impact of the legislation.

Disney and anti-DeSantis Republicans crowed about how Disney had outsmarted DeSantis. But it’s not clear that Disney complied with all the legal requirements, including mailed notice to neighbors, to pass the restrictive covenants; DeSantis vowed to challenge Disney’s moves including through a new District resolution voiding the restrictive covenants and possible new legislation.

So now Disney has filed suit in federal court for the Northern District of Florida. The case is assigned to Chief Judge Mark Walker, who has ruled against other legislation promoted by DeSantis, such as the “Stop Woke Act,” using bombastic language including an analogy to George Orwell.

Here are the pleadings: