Disney Files Intent to Appeal Federal Lawsuit Against Governor DeSantis and CFTOD

Disney has filed a notice of intent to appeal the decision to dismiss their federal lawsuit against Governor DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Disney Files Intent to Appeal Federal Lawsuit Decision

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Disney filed the notice of intent to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday, February 1.

On Wednesday, Judge Allen Winsor decided to dismiss the lawsuit.

This case was resolved on motions to dismiss. Plaintiff’s claims against the Governor and the Department Secretary are dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff’s claims against the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board emmbers are dismissed on the merits for failure to state a claim.

Winsor explained in the Clerk’s Judgment that Disney lacked standing to sue the governor and that claims against CFTOD fail on merits because “when a statute is facially constitutional, a plaintiff cannot bring a free-speech challenge by claiming that the lawmakers who passed it acted with a constitutionally impermissible purpose.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Disney said, “This is an important case with serious implications for the rule of law, and it will not end here.”

If left unchallenged, this would set a dangerous precedent and give license to states to weaponize their official powers to punish the expression of political viewpoints they disagree with. We are determined to press forward with our case.

Chairman of the Oversight District Board Martin Garcia also issued the following statement on Wednesday:

I’m delighted that this lawsuit, which was nothing more than a distraction, is now behind us. Our board and the district will now continue to make the appropriate changes to operate and function as an independent government agency to promote transparency and accountability while bringing more prosperity to more people in Florida.

The District’s and Disney’s state lawsuits against each other are still ongoing.

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