Disney wants to narrow its scope Federal lawsuit Florida’s governor retaliated against the organization by challenging a state law banning first-grade classes on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Disney on Friday asked a federal judge for permission to file and release an amended complaint focusing on First Amendment claims. Another, state-court case Questions about the legality of the deals the company signed with Disney World’s ruling district made up of Disney fans at the time. The agreements were signed before DeSantis and the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature took over statehood in the spring.
The deals include design and construction oversight of the theme park resort from new board members appointed by DeSantis. Central Florida Tourism Control District (CFTOD) to Disney. DeSantis’ appointees are now challenging the legality of the agreements in state court. DeSantis is not a party to the state court suit.
“Disney will suffer substantial, imminent, and continuing harm as a result of CFTOD’s new powers and composition to punish Disney for expressing political views,” the DC federal court motion said.
The amended complaint “challenges this unconstitutional state arm by seeking a declaratory judgment that would free Denny from the CFTD Board’s continued retaliatory actions and pursue his future in Florida.”
U.S. District Judge Alan Winsor on Friday denied Disney’s request to narrow the scope because of a procedural rule requiring Disney’s attorneys to speak with DeSantis’ attorneys before filing such a request. The judge said Disney could refile the motion after it complies with the court’s rules. An email seeking comment was sent to Disney lawyers on Sunday.
Disney’s request and other recent motions in the state case show how the fates of the two lawsuits are intertwined, especially after Disney filed a counterclaim in the state case and filed several similar claims in the federal one. Disney filed the lawsuit after a state court judge denied Disney’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The battle between DeSantis and Disney began last year after the company Significant pressure Both internally and externally, he publicly challenged a state law banning classes on sexual orientation and gender identity in preschool, policy critics said. “Don’t Say Gay”
as punishment, DeSantis took control of the district A law passed by Florida lawmakers appointed a new regulatory board to oversee municipal services for the sprawling theme parks and hotels. But the authority of the new superintendents was limited by the company’s agreement with its predecessors.
In response, DeSantis and the Florida Legislature passed legislation repealing those agreements.
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter @MikeSchneiderAP