A federal judge just handed Republican governor Ron DeSantis a huge victory in his war with woke Disney.
U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga threw out a lawsuit challenging Florida’s new law stripping Disney of its special tax privileges, Breitbart reported.
DeSantis scores a win in his war with Disney
DeSantis signed a law dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which effectively allows Disney to operate as its government, in April after the company vowed to oppose the governor’s popular anti-grooming law, which critics have labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Three residents of Orange and Osceola counties sued over the law, but the judge found their complaints to be frivolous.
The plaintiffs alleged that DeSantis’s move would force them to pay higher taxes, but the judge found that argument “highly speculative,” noting the law they are suing over isn’t even on the books yet.
The judge was also skeptical of their attempts to claim a First Amendment violation on Disney’s behalf, which the judge said they lacked standing to do — also noting the court itself lacked standing to resolve the state dispute.
Altonaga found that the plaintiffs “do not plausibly allege they have suffered any concrete injury as a result of the alleged violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights, and nothing in the Complaint shows Plaintiffs have a close relationship with Disney.”
DeSantis takes on woke Disney
The plaintiffs themselves recognize that Disney’s dispute with the state will likely carry on for a long time, Altonaga noted, writing, “That fact alone warrants dismissal.”
But the man who filed the lawsuit, a Miami lawyer running for the Senate as a Democrat named William Sanchez, vowed to keep litigating the issue.
“This is just the beginning of the battle, as we are attempting to achieve justice for Florida taxpayers,” Sanchez said in a statement.
DeSantis’s war with Disney represents a growing rift between the GOP and traditional allies in the business community that have gone “woke.” Many on the left have embraced Disney, a multi-national media conglomerate, because of its pro-LGBT activism.
The controversy has brought further attention to DeSantis, who is as reviled by the left as he is loved on the right for his aggressive embrace of the culture wars. The first-term governor is widely seen as a potential successor to Donald Trump and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.