A US federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the complaint filed by entertainment giant Disney against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Disney accused DeSantis of waging a targeted campaign against the company, but the judge said Disney had no legal basis to sue the governor.
Disney, which DeSantis says is very progressive, began a legal battle last year against the Republican governor who, according to the company, launched a “targeted retaliation campaign.”
The complaint followed, among other things, DeSantis' suspension of Disney World's special status in Florida, which gave it broad autonomy and exempted it from most government regulations. According to Disney, this was an act of retaliation by the state after the company criticized the state's controversial education law, the so-called “Don't Say Gay” law. This prohibits teachers in public schools up to the third grade (9 years old) from teaching lessons on gender orientation and identity. After pressure from employees, Disney criticized this law, which DeSantis signed last year.
However, federal Judge Allen Winsor ruled on Wednesday that Disney did not have the legal basis to prosecute DeSantis and the Florida Tourism Board members.
The company immediately announced that it would resume. A court spokesman said: “This is an important case with important consequences for the rule of law and it does not stop here.” “If left unchecked, these practices set a dangerous precedent and allow states to use their formal powers to punish the expression of political views with which they disagree.”
DeSantis' office applauds the judge's decision. “The days of Disney controlling its government and being above the law are long gone.”
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