Disney May Fall as Judge Refuses to Take Action in DeSantis Battle

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Governor DeSantis sadly looking at World Disney Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

A Florida Judge filed a notice in The Walt Disney Company’s lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday. The filing comes as a blow to Disney, which continues to face retaliation and threats from the Republican Governor.

Judge Mark Walker wrote that the court would “take no action” on the lawsuit until the court rules on a pending motion from DeSantis’s team to disqualify Walker from the case. DeSantis argues that Walker displayed potential partiality while ruling on unrelated matters.

Nexstar reporter Scott Gustin shared a copy of the filing on Twitter:

In a new filing in Disney v DeSantis, Judge Mark Walker says the court “will take no action” on yesterday’s proposed briefing schedule and “forthcoming motions to dismiss” until the court rules on the pending motion filed by DeSantis to disqualify Walker from overseeing the case.

The Walt Disney Company sued DeSantis in April, arguing that the conservative Governor infringed on its First Amendment right to protected speech. After former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against the Parental Rights In Education Act, an anti-LGBTQIA+ law known popularly as “Don’t Say Gay,” DeSantis launched political warfare on the company.

Months after Chapek condemned “Don’t Say Gay” against the Governor’s warning, DeSantis introduced and passed legislation to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Walt Disney World Resort has operated its own private, municipal services under the special district since 1967 – saving Florida taxpayers billions while bringing tourism money to the state.

Reedy Creek Fire Dept. truck in front EPCOT's Spaceship Earth at Disney World
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

DeSantis later hand-selected a new board to take over the municipality, now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and vowed to go further. He threatened to build a state prison steps from the Disney Parks and introduce new tolls and taxes in the area. Walker’s delay on the lawsuit provides DeSantis more time to permanently damage Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney argued that this was a clear case of retaliation and unfair treatment. DeSantis immediately countersued The Walt Disney Company, though few updates have been provided in that case.

Follow alongside Inside the Magic as we continue to provide updates on the legal battle between Gov. DeSantis and The Walt Disney Company. Share your thoughts with the team in the comments! 

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