A US federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the complaint that entertainment giant Disney filed against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Disney accused DeSantis of waging a targeted campaign against the company, but the judge said Disney has no legal basis to sue the governor.
Disney, which DeSantis says is too progressive, started a legal battle last year against the Republican governor who, according to the company, had launched a “targeted revenge campaign.”
The complaint followed, among other things, DeSantis’ suspension of a special status that Disney World enjoyed in Florida, which gave it wide autonomy and exempted it from most government regulations. According to Disney, this was an act of revenge by the state after the company criticized a controversial education law in the state, the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. This prohibits teachers in public schools up to the third grade (9 years) from teaching lessons on orientation and gender identity. After pressure from employees, Disney criticized that law that DeSantis signed last year.
However, federal judge Allen Winsor ruled Wednesday that Disney does not have the legal basis to prosecute DeSantis and members of the Florida tourism board.
The company immediately announced that it would appeal. “This is an important case with important consequences for the rule of law and it does not stop here,” said a spokesperson. “If left unchecked, the practices set a dangerous precedent and allow states to use their official powers to punish the expression of political views they disagree with.”
DeSantis’ office applauds the judge’s decision. “The days of Disney controlling its own government and being above the law are long gone.”
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