Ron DeSantis Files Motion to Dismiss Disney’s Federal Lawsuit Against Him

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ lawyers have filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit that Disney World brought against him in federal court. The lengthy motion asks the court to dismiss the entire complaint, or, at least, dismiss the claims against the State Defendants. Disney World has sued DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District in federal court, claiming, among other things, that DeSantis is using state might to retaliate against and punish Disney for exercising its First Amendment rights.

In the Motion, the State argues that the original Reedy Creek Improvement District deal offered Disney “carte blanche to govern itself”. The State said that Disney rushed through “a series of collusive agreements between itself and its puppet RCID board” in the “waning days of the corporate kingdom”. The State calls Disney’s claims of retaliation from DeSantis “meritless for many reasons”.

The State says that DeSantis and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are “immune from suit” and that Disney lacks standing to sue them because they do not enforce the laws at issue. The State also claims “absolute legislative immunity” for DeSantis, regardless of if his actions were retaliatory.

Beyond that, the argument put out by the State is largely the same as the arguments we’ve heard from the CFTOD lawyers. Essentially, the Development Agreement between Disney and the CFTOD (enacted by the outgoing RCID Board) is not valid due to a number of “legal deficiencies and were thus void under Florida law”.

Here’s the full Motion to Dismiss filed by DeSantis’ lawyers.

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