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Federal Court Rules in Case of Disney vs. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Allen Winsor issued an opinion dismissing the federal case Disney brought against Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The Governor’s office said this ruling finally ends Disney’s futile attempts to control its own special government and receive benefits not available to other businesses throughout the state.

In the opinion, Judge Winsor cited numerous errors in Disney’s arguments, including the fact that Disney is “not the district’s only landowner, and other landowners within the district are affected by the same laws —” “the statute did ‘not implicate any constitutionally protected conduct’” and was therefore constitutional; and “courts shouldn’t look to a law’s legislative history to find an illegitimate motivation for an otherwise constitutional statute.”

“As stated by Governor DeSantis when he signed HB 9-B, the Corporate Kingdom is over,” said Jeremy Redfern, Governor Ron DeSantis’ Press Secretary in a statement. “The days of Disney controlling its own government and being placed above the law are long gone. The federal court’s decision made it clear that Governor 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. In short — as long predicted, case dismissed.”

This is a win for Florida Republicans in the legislature and the Governor. Orlando area Democrats jumped to defend Walt Disney World and Disney’s special status, in an odd political move that seemed to be more about opposing DeSantis than supporting Democratic core issues and positions.

Read the full opinion from Judge Winsor related to the Reedy Creek Improvement District in Central Florida here:


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