Disney Taps Out In Battle With DeSantis

The Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have seemingly arrived at a truce in the lawsuit filed by the entertainment company against the state’s top official.

Disney filed the suit in April, arguing that DeSantis had revoked their special privilege in response to the firm’s vigorous opposition against the state’s anti-groomer law. The law barred teachers from discussing sexuality with third graders, of which Disney deemed homophobic and referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In the suit, Disney cited violations of the Contracts Clause, Takings Clause, and Due Process Clause. However, the company has now dropped those claims in order to spare the inefficiency of litigating contract validity simultaneously in two forums.

As a result, the complaint now solely focuses on Disney’s First Amendment rights. It alleges that the Governor’s hand-picked board voided an agreement that transferred certain powers of Disney’s formerly dissolved special district back to the firm.

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor denied Disney’s request for dismissal in September, but the governor apparently had already allowed the company to scrap the contract claims with the understanding that it could be refiled later.

In light of this development, the future of Disney and the state’s relationship is up in the air. In recent months, the firm has gone public with its ardent support of certain matters such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ rights, so it is pertinent to note how the state and its ruling body may react if Disney stands in opposition to a forthcoming agenda.

Although the entertainment juggernaut has had a long-standing relationship with the state due to the opening of the Walt Disney World Resort in 1971, whatever state of peace exists between the two parties could be fragile if Disney continues to conflict with DeSantis’ authority.

At the moment, neither side is willing to delve into the future of their relationship. What is certain, however, is that at this stage in the game, all of the power lies in Governor DeSantis’ hands. Only time will reveal what plans Disney has in store to challenge the Governor’s jurisdiction while trying to maintain their special privilege in the Sunshine State.

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