Disney makes next move in legal clash with Ron DeSantis

Orlando, Florida - Disney on Tuesday asked a Florida judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Governor Ron DeSantis' hand-selected board that seeks to invalidate Disney's development contracts for land encompassing its vast parks and resorts in the Sunshine State.

Disney asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Ron DeSantis' hand-picked board as the battle between the entertainment giant and Florida's governor continues.
Disney asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Ron DeSantis' hand-picked board as the battle between the entertainment giant and Florida's governor continues.  © Collage: REUTERS

Disney's motion to dismiss the case, filed in Florida's 9th Judicial Circuit Court for Orange County, is the latest salvo in a long battle between DeSantis and the Mouse House over control of the 27,000-acre area that is home to Walt Disney World.

The case concerns contracts that Disney signed with the board of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District that the new DeSantis-picked supervisors want to have declared void. Disney's motion essentially says the court doesn't have to rule in the matter because Florida's legislature has already invalidated the deals in question.

The company's lawyers argue the dispute should be resolved in federal court, where Disney is fighting DeSantis.

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The Bob Iger-led company sued DeSantis and other state officials last month, alleging that the governor and his allies had orchestrated "a targeted campaign of government retaliation" against Disney in response to its opposition to Florida's education law restricting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade.

The company came out against the state's extreme "Don't Say Gay" legislation last year. DeSantis responded by deriding Disney as a "woke" corporation and by trying to strip Disney of its self-governing privileges in the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

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