On Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts filed its official opposition to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ motion to dismiss its federal lawsuit against him and Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board members.
Disney council was clear in its rebuttal, “This case presents the fundamental question whether the Governor and the State can escape accountability for their open defiance of our Nation’s most cherished liberties.” They added “The Governor seeks to evade responsibility for his actions on a narrower ground, asserting that a governor cannot be held officially liable for implementing, administering, and enforcing state laws that punish residents for political statements violating a state-prescribed speech code. The motion seeks dismissal on Article III standing, sovereign-immunity, and legislative-immunity grounds, but those principles have no application here.”
The federal lawsuit was filed against DeSantis in April 2023 with claims that the Governor violated its First Amendment rights by retaliating against the company’s opposition to a parental rights bill, commonly known as “Don’t Say Gay” passed in Florida. The suit was amended by Disney in May, adding more pointed quotes from DeSantis, such as his open confirmation that “this all started, of course, with our parents’ rights bill.”
The opposition filed Wednesday, which can be viewed below, also notes, “Disney’s claim, in this case, is that the laws reorganizing the District violated Disney’s constitutional rights. Having demanded public credit for abrogating Disney’s Contracts, the Governor cannot escape responsibility when called to answer for that action in court, particularly before fact discovery is completed.”
Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº