DeSantis Fires Shots at Everyone Who Mocked Him for Disney Battle After Company’s Lawsuit Gets Dismissed

DeSantis Fires Shots at Everyone Who Mocked Him for Disney Battle After Company’s Lawsuit Gets Dismissed

After taking his punches both on the presidential campaign trail and from the establishment media, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has — finally — reason to do a victory lap, something he never got on his bid for the White House.

And, befitting the popular Florida governor, he did it in bellicose style, with a video short to boot.

On Jan. 31, as The Wall Street Journal reported, a federal judge tossed a lawsuit The Walt Disney Co. filed against the state of Florida after Florida Republicans, led by DeSantis, revoked Disney’s control over a special tax district where Disney World is located.

The state’s taking control of the district and renaming it from the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Disney alleged in its lawsuit, was improper retaliation for the company’s vocal and visible opposition to a law banning instruction in gender ideology and sexual orientation for students up to the third grade — a law opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, even though it, not unsurprisingly, didn’t say that. (Or even the word “gay,” for that matter.)

Disney alleged that this move violated the company’s First Amendment rights, while the Journal noted that “DeSantis and Republican lawmakers said their actions were aimed at reining in excessive privileges that Disney had secured over decades.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor said that not only did Disney lack standing to sue, its suit also failed on the merits.

“Because Disney seeks injunctive relief, it must allege an imminent future injury … and it has not alleged facts showing that any imminent future appointments will contribute to its harm,” the judge wrote in his 17-page ruling.

“The analysis could be different if the Governor had not yet made any appointments. But as things stand, if this court enjoined future appointments, Disney would face the same situation it faces now: it would be operating under the [Central Florida Tourism Oversight District] board, over which it has no control. Stopping hypothetical future appointments would not redress any alleged imminent harm.”

Furthermore, the judge noted, “Disney has not alleged any specific actions the new board took (or will take) because of the Governor’s alleged control. In fact, Disney has not alleged any specific injury from any board action. Its alleged injury, as discussed above, is it’s operating under a board it cannot control.

“That injury would exist whether or not the Governor controlled the board, meaning an injunction precluding the Governor from influencing the board would not redress Disney’s asserted injury.”

Point being, there is no constitutional right to special privileges granted to a corporation by a state government (that’s why they’re called “privileges”). And judicial precedent discourages courts from imputing a certain mindset to lawmakers if the law is otherwise constitutional. The government giveth, the government taketh away, after all. And, while Disney appealed the ruling — quelle surprise — that still remains a difficult hurdle to clear.

“This is an important case with serious implications for the rule of law, and it will not end here,” a Disney spokesman said after the suit was dismissed. “If left unchallenged, this would set a dangerous precedent and give license to states to weaponize their official powers to punish the expression of political viewpoints they disagree with. We are determined to press forward with our case.”

However, DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern summed it up neatly: “The federal court’s decision made it clear that Gov. DeSantis was correct: Disney is still just one of many corporations in the state, and they do not have a right to their own special government,” he said in a statement.

DeSantis was even more blunt in a social media post, albeit just a bit belatedly.

“One year ago, I signed legislation ending what an independent audit found to be one of the worst examples of cronyism in modern U.S. history: Reedy Creek, a local government controlled by a single company; Disney,” he wrote on his X account Tuesday.

“While so many claimed ending the cronyism would be bad for Florida, the result has been transparency and accountability, including a reduction of taxes and local businesses being allowed to compete for projects, saving the district millions of dollars.

“The federal lawsuit filed by Disney has been dismissed and the new state board continues to initiate positive reforms,” he added, followed by a video:

As the clips demonstrate, many in the media both laughed and sounded the alarm at the same time over DeSantis’ battle with Disney. DeSantis (correctly, it turns out) predicted Disney would lose in court.

A montage of headlines showed that Disney’s media mouthpieces thought DeSantis was full of it — and hurting his own state.

Reason: “By Trying to ‘Move On,’ DeSantis Admits His Fight With Disney Was a Political Stunt All Along.” Business Insider: “If DeSantis Drags Down Disney, He Could Bring Central Florida Down With It”; Above the Law: “Ron DeSantis So Sure He’s Going to Win Disney Lawsuit That He’s Publicly Begging [Disney CEO] Bob Iger to Drop It.”

Cue more footage of liberals laughing, along with the chorus from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” — a clear commentary from the DeSantis camp.

“The acts that have been done over the last one or two years really are about who governs in our society,” DeSantis is shown saying in a speech. “Is it one company that gets to call the shots, or is it ‘We the People?'”

Well, a federal judge has spoken. And if Disney’s going to keep this up, DeSantis staffers are going to have to keep scouting for royalty-free versions of “Ode to Joy.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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