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Disney Vs DeSantis – DSJ Breakdown

The Walt Disney Company has recently filed a lawsuit against Florida governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida state officials. DeSantis is being accused by the Disney company for “Government retaliation.” Disney has also accused the governor of violating its free speech.


Approximately a year ago, Florida lawmakers singed a bill that ultimately removed the self-governing authority that Disney had. In an effort to keep their self-governing authority, The Disney Company made a deal with its outgoing board of directors to retain the development rights of Disney’s district. Last week, however, members of the district board voted to invalidate the agreement that was made by the Disney Company and its outgoing board. Shortly after this, Disney handed a lawsuit to Ron DeSantis that was approximately 80 pages in length.


The lawsuit cites DeSantis and other government officials for violating the contracts clause, the takings clause, due process, and the companies right to practice free speech. In part of the lawsuit, the Disney company states, “This government action was patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional.” The company is asking a federal judge to declare the board’s action “unlawful and unenforceable.” The District Board of Directors that struck down the Disney deal state that there is good reason for shutting it down. After hearing lengthy and detailed arguments from a plethora of attorneys that represent Disney, the board came to the conclusion that procedural missteps were made by these attorneys which ultimately made the deal invalid.

Concerns Over Regulations

In addition to listening to many lawyers that represented Disney, the board also had the opportunity to hear from local businesses that are independent of Disney, but reside on Disney property. Many owners of these businesses are concerned about new regulations and increased taxes making their businesses no longer profitable.

DeSantis Responds

The communications director of Ron DeSantis made a statement in response to the lawsuit, the statement says, “We are unaware of any legal right that a company has to operate its own government or maintain special privileges not held by other businesses in the state. This lawsuit is yet another unfortunate example of their hope to undermine the will of the Florida voters and operate outside the bounds of the law.”

Wrap Up

Now that Disney has retaliated by filing a lawsuit against DeSantis, this can be a long and expensive process for both Disney and the Florida Governor. The outcome of this lawsuit can also have long reaching affects on the district that Disney resides in.

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