Disney Warns DeSantis Legal Victory Would Set Bad Precedent
Along with its fundamental woes, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) is also contending with Florida Governor and GOP Presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis, having taking on the latter in a lawsuit. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Florida on Monday, Disney reportedly warned of the perils of the state potentially winning the federal lawsuit.
“If the line is not drawn here, there is no line at all,” Disney said in a court filing, AP reported. The company also said if DeSantis were to win, the company won’t be the last entity to be punished for supporting a “disfavored” viewpoint.
“The retaliation against Disney for crossing the Governor’s ‘line’ was swift and severe: for the explicitly-stated purpose of punishing Disney for its comments, the State immediately stripped Disney of its voting rights in the governing body that oversees Disney’s use of its own private property,” the company added.
Why It’s Important: In late September, Disney got its multi-part federal complaint amended in the federal court to focus on its core accusation that the Florida governor and the state violated the First Amendment Act by engaging in witch hunting.
After Disney opposed the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which forbade discussion regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, the governor’s office gone on to clip the company’s power in governing the Reedy Creek Improvement District, where its Orlando theme park lies.
DeSantis’ appointees took over the governing board following the ouster of Disney supporters, and the district has since then been named as “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”
DeSantis and the other co-defendants, including a state agency and the governor’s appointees to the CFTOD, have claimed that Disney’s “First Amendment lawsuit” is without any merit . Disney as well as the CFTOD are also facing off each other in a state court in Florida over the legality of the agreements entered between the Disney and the previous board for shifting control over design and construction at Disney World to the company and prohibiting the district from using the likeness of Disney characters or other intellectual property without Disney’s permission.
Disney ended Monday’s session up 1.70% at $80.68.
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