Disney Moves to Dismiss DeSantis-Backed Lawsuit

Disney Moves to Dismiss DeSantis-Backed Lawsuit

Florida's culture war could possibly change what modern conservatism means

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
May 17, 2023

The legal saga between Disney and the state of Florida continues, now over a year later.  However, a new Florida law signed by Governor DeSantis (R-FL) could potentially nullify the lawsuit brought against Disney.

The Walt Disney Company began its feud with the state of Florida when the Republican legislature and subsequently the Governor, enacted the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which prohibited conversations about sexuality in the classroom.  Critics were quick to brand the legislation the, "Don't Say Gay," bill, and Disney led the way in fighting the law.

The past several months have been marked by teases from the DeSantis Administration to revoke certain privileges the corporation has enjoyed for decades, dating back to the company's initial presence in the state of Florida over 50 years ago. This month the state filed a suit against the Walt Disney Corporation that will nullify plans for the company to develop a resort.

The latest development in the case comes as a surprise as Disney filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that, "Mr. DeSantis and his allies in the Legislature rendered the lawsuit moot with their subsequent actions," the filing said.

"In short, any declaration about the contracts’ enforceability, voidness or validity — either way — would be an advisory opinion with no real-world consequence,” Disney added in the filing. “Trial courts in Florida are forbidden from issuing advisory opinions.” The company referred to more than 40 court rulings in support of its argument.

Disney’s filing made mention that the federal lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the new law prohibiting the district from complying with the development contracts.  The case has also pitted conservatives between a rock and a hard place on economic policy and immaterial culture war issues.

While a non-interventionist approach in private businesses is usually the modus operandi of conservatives, it seems that this traditional economic approach is being sidelined for the culture war.  Proponents of the DeSantis Administration have argued however that the actions taken against Disney only revoke special privileges and not rights that the company is entitled to.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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