Ron DeSantis moves to dismiss Disney lawsuit
Attorneys representing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have filed a motion requesting the dismissal of Disney’s lawsuit claiming political retaliation against the company.
The attorneys argue DeSantis and another defendant have immunity from the lawsuit and say Disney lacks the standing to sue them.
Attorneys say Disney’s complaint “fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted.”
The company has sued DeSantis for reported targeting after it criticized a controversial state classroom bill known as “Don’t Say Gay.”
Governor DeSantis’ move to dismiss the suit comes as he continues to engage in a protracted battle with Disney while campaigning for the Republican presidential primary.
The conflict between DeSantis, a top contender in the GOP race and former President Donald Trump, and Disney, one of Florida’s largest employers, has been brewing for over a year.
The 27-page motion to dismiss was filed by DeSantis’ attorneys and Meredith Ivey, secretary for Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
Disney’s lawsuit concerns the special tax district encompassing Walt Disney World in Florida.
The company had enjoyed self-governance within this district for decades.
However, after Disney criticized a Republican-backed classroom bill, DeSantis and his allies moved to dissolve the tax district.
Although the tax district was ultimately kept intact and renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Disney claimed its contracts were voided and sued the new board members appointed by DeSantis.
In response, DeSantis’ attorneys contended any alleged injuries resulting from the disputes over the tax district and contracts cannot be attributed to the State Defendants.
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They argued enjoining the State Defendants would not provide Disney with relief.
The attorneys also said neither DeSantis nor Ivey enforced the legislative acts mentioned in the lawsuit, dismissing Disney’s unpersuasive attempts to link them to those laws.
Disney filed its First Amendment lawsuit in federal court in April, and shortly after, the board appointed by DeSantis countersued in state court.
In May, Disney filed a motion to dismiss the state-level suit, to which the board responded in opposition, accusing Disney of attempting to manipulate reality through their motion.