DeSantis-Appointed Board Prepares to Counter-Sue Disney

An oversight board appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) voted Monday to file a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company in response to the corporation’s legal action against the Sunshine State.



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Disney filed a lawsuit against Florida due to a dramatic escalation in a running feud between the House of Mouse and the Sunshine State. Disney fired the first shot by publicly condemning Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Act.” DeSantis moved to strip Disney of its special status.

“Allowing a corporation to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the corporation makes decisions that impact an entire region,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This legislation ends Disney’s self-governing status, makes Disney live under the same laws as everybody else, and ensures that Disney pays its debts and fair share of taxes.”

Now, Disney is suing Florida. Disney’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, argues that this revocation of special privileges was “orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech” and “now threatens Disney’s business operations jeopardizes its economic future in the region and violates its constitutional rights.”

In the first section of the lawsuit, Disney frames its suit as a defensive measure.

“Disney regrets that it has come to this but having exhausted efforts to seek a resolution, the Company is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its cast members, guests, and local development partners from a relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain State officials.”

Undoubtedly, the government actively punishing or preventing a business’s success based on protected speech is unacceptable. The question, in this case, will likely be whether or not the removal of Disney’s special and unique privileges counts as this kind of punishment. A spokesperson for DeSantis argued along these very lines in a statement to NBC News.

“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.”

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Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro made a similar point on his show.

The DeSantis-appointed oversight board approved a countersuit in state court Monday, but no details of the suit were made available beyond that.

Board member Ron Peri, who spoke at Monday’s meeting in Lake Buena Vista, attacked legacy media narratives around the feud. The board members, he said, aren’t “political individuals trying very hard to force an agenda that … is the governor’s.”

“The reality is that there did need to be a change. People may not be happy by the way it came about. They may have political views that convinced them that it shouldn’t have come about.”

Shapiro also noted that multiple Republicans running for President, including Nikki Haley and, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump, have come out against DeSantis on the issue.

Other stories you may want to read:

Chelsea Clinton Gets Rocked for Supporting Pornagraphic Content For Kids

‘Yapping Puppy’ Brian Kilmeade Loses Cool Over Crashing FOX Ratings, Attacks Steve Bannon




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