Florida Governor Ron DeSantis files motion to disqualify judge in Disney's federal lawsuit

May 19, 2023 in "Reedy Creek Improvement District"

Posted: Friday May 19, 2023 4:48pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is attempting to remove Chief Judge Mark E. Walker from presiding over Disney's federal lawsuit against DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District regarding the state's retaliatory actions again Disney.

In the motion filed today, DeSantis claims that Walker should disqualify himself from the case to "prevent even the appearance of impropriety."

The claim relates to two unrelated cases where the Court offered "Disney" as an example of state retaliation.

Walker was nominated to serve as district judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida by President Barack Obama in 2012 and became chief judge in June 2018.

You can read the full motion here and the opening comments below.

Defendants move to disqualify Chief Judge Mark E. Walker (the Court) under 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) because the Court's impartiality in this matter might reasonably be questioned. This case involves claims that Defendants retaliated against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. based on Disney's viewpoints. Yet two previous times, in two unrelated cases, the Court sua sponte offered "Disney" as an example
of state retaliation. Those remarks—each derived from extrajudicial sources—were on the record, in open Court, and could reasonably imply that the Court has prejudged the retaliation question here. Because that question is now before this Court, and because that question involves highly publicized matters of great interest to Florida's citizens, the Court should disqualify itself to prevent even the appearance of impro-

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vikescaper2 days ago

I could see them doing something similar to what they did to the BVD and Hotel Plaza Blvd intersection years ago. They changed the alignment so Hotel Plaza Blvd flows directly into BVD.

maxairmike2 days ago

As long as they're widening all the way from BVD to Avalon (mainly to match lane alignments since the Sawgrass/Flemings connection is finally being fast tracked) and working with CFX to finally signalize the 429 interchange, anything less than that is like putting a normal size bandaid on a multi-inch gash. I think they also need to look at an alternative to the standard intersection for BVD and Western Way given the volume of traffic there, but that's probably more of a multi-phase project like World Drive, as it would likely involve modifications to the World Drive/BVD interchange alignment and flow, as well as the Coronado intersection in what I envision as a "good" solution.

Brian5 days ago

Widening Western Way? Yes, please! That road is a nightmare between 4-6pm, thanks to the s***storm known as I-4!

DCBaker5 days ago

Here's what was in the BoS packet:

JoeCamel5 days ago

Who's 100M is it?

GoneViral5 days ago

Imagine if anyone in this thread had said six months ago that the CFTOD would propose $100 million to fix WDW roads. They would have been laughed out of here.

Goofyernmost6 days ago

Whereas, I have no degree in legal jargon, can someone please splain what that all means and did it have any fundamental changes to how it has always been run in the past as per ss. 123.4567-8910, G.F. 🤔 :)

DCBaker7 days ago

The agenda and documents for the CFTOD Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, May 22 is now available at the link below. https://www.oversightdistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/May-22-2024-BOS-Packet.pdf Here's what included for RESOLUTION NO. 661 (begins on page 270 in the PDF):

peter1143516 days ago

No. But it’s the start of the process

MR.Dis16 days ago

Does this mean a new agreement has been reached with Disney? I am trying to read between the lines on just what this is saying.

flyakite16 days ago

castlecake2.029 days ago


Stripes29 days ago

Has Disney/CFTOD continued to replace the purple direction signage with the new blue color scheme since CFTOD took over?

mkt29 days ago

You're right. The new document will be different. It will be "different" in the way that Chris Gaines was "different" from Garth Brooks or how the drummer from Nirvana is "different" from the singer of the Foo Fighters.