Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Ron DeSantis Over Revocation of Disney’s Special Privileges

Governor’s decision followed Disney’s involvement in protests of the state’s parental rights bill.

QUICK FACTS:
  • A federal judge has stopped a lawsuit against Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis that would have prevented his revocation of Walt Disney World Resort’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, according to The Washington Examiner.
  • U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga made his determination on Tuesday, saying that there was no legal standing for the argument, which leaned on a First Amendment prosecution against DeSantis and his administration.
  • If the suit were won by the plaintiffs, DeSantis would have been blocked from revoking the independent ruling district that allows The Disney Corporation to self-govern in the area where their park is located.
MORE ON THE JUDGE’S DECISION:

“In Count I, Plaintiffs allege that Senate Bill 4-C violates Florida’s Reedy Creek Improvement Act and ‘contractual obligations’ the state owes to Floridians,” Altonaga, a Bush appointee, wrote. “The Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ sole remaining claim for violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights. ‘[A] party generally may assert only his or her own rights and cannot raise the claims of third parties not before the court.'”

BACKGROUND:
  • Florida allowed Disney to establish their self-governing status under the Reedy Creek Improvement Act in the 1960s when the park was in it’s infancy.
  • Due to the act, Disney has been allowed to oversee their only basic local government, including zoning, infrastructure, and building codes.
  • The suit was filed against DeSantis by William Sanchez, a Democratic contender for Senate