Disney's lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is dismissed

Jan 31, 2024 in "Reedy Creek Improvement District"

Posted: Wednesday January 31, 2024 2:27pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor has dismissed Disney's federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and DeSantis' Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board.

As part of a 17 page ruling, Judge Winsor said, "In short, Disney lacks standing to sue the Governor or the Secretary, and its claims against the CFTOD Defendants fail on the 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.'" The 46 year old Orlando-born Republican Judge was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2019.

Last year, DeSantis and CFTOD filed a motion to dismiss Disney's federal lawsuit, in which the entertainment giant claimed that there has been "A targeted campaign of government retaliation-orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney's protected speech now threatens Disney's business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights."

Lawyers for DeSantis and CFTOD have argued that it doesn't matter if the governor's actions were in retaliation, with Disney lawyers taking the opposite position.

Judge Winsor has issued his ruling today saying, "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 members are dismissed on the merits for failure to state a claim."

Notably, the ruling does suggest that Disney may have standing to sue the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board members. While the court dismissed Disney's claims against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Secretary of Florida's Department of Commerce due to lack of standing, it acknowledged that Disney has demonstrated sufficient standing to bring a claim against the CFTOD Defendants.

In a statement released following the court case's dismissal, a Disney spokesperson told WDWMAGIC, "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."

You can read the judge's full findings here.

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Surferboy5674 days ago

What’s with the weird screensaver sunrise thing? They couldn’t afford something better?

wdwmagic4 days ago

LOL some of these "guest" speakers, they are literally reading from the board's script, and in a very unconvincing way.

DCBaker4 days ago

The CFTOD Board of Supervisors meeting has begun.

Minthorne6 days ago

It started in the Garden of Eden ;)

Batman'sParents6 days ago

Thanks for posting this. Going through this does seem to answer one of my questions about the district. Given the new new leadership structure would they continue to issue new bonds or solely rely on revenue generated from fees and ad valorem? Pages 87-88 show some of the projects they will be pursuing mainly with Western Way and World Dr. Looks like they expect to issue new bonds to fund these projects.

DCBaker6 days ago

The full agenda packet for the CFTOD Board of Supervisors meeting this Wednesday, February 28 is now available at this link. This packet includes a Public Facilities Report, prepared by District staff, which begins on page 78. "The Reedy Creek Improvement District was previously not required to complete a Public Facilities Report under Section 189.08(9) F.S. As part of the ratification process whereupon the former Chapter 67-764, Laws of Florida, was ratified and amended by Chapter 2023-5, Laws of Florida, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, formerly the Reedy Creek Improvement District, is no longer exempt from completing a public facilities report. Therefore, this report shall serve as the initial public facilities report for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. This Public Facilities Report has been prepared by District staff in conformance with Chapter 189 Uniform Special District Accountability Act, Part VIII, Comprehensive Planning ss. 189.08, as required by Chapter 2023-5, Section 4 (8)(b), Florida Statutes. The report is presented to the Board of Supervisors, whom upon approval, shall submit the public facilities report and related annual notices required by s. 189.08, F.S. and Chapter 2023-5, Section 4(8)(b), to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This report will also be provided to Orange and Osceola Counties. Nothing in this Report requires, or should be construed to obligate, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (“District”) to approve, design, engineer, permit, construct, or fund any of the public facilities referenced herein, nor shall the District be required to reserve, allocate or provide funds for the matters contained in this Report. Any District obligations for the foregoing and for payment and/or the expenditure of funds for matters referenced in this Report are subject to separate action of the District and such obligations are subject to discretionary annual appropriation by the District."

Goofyernmost7 days ago

Are you suggesting that people take responsibility for what they read themselves and don't feel they can stop reading it unless someone makes it impossible? That would imply that people are intelligent (they are not) or capable of having their own opinions (also not a chance) or truly believe that the world revolves around them personally and they won't stop until everyone admits that they are always right and no other opinion matters.

Chi847 days ago

No because it would shut down all the valuable discussion that has occurred and still continues. What works better is if you don't click on the thread if you don't want to see the political ******* match before the mods delete it. Solves the problem, doesn't it? Just pretend that the thread is locked!

JoeCamel7 days ago

Nope it has value if people can just......

JoeCamel7 days ago

When did we as a society stop following rules? Seems that we question authority at every turn and don't see honor in fulfilling our part of agreements we enter into, kind of rules for thee but not for mee mentality? I bet Tiana has an answer...... Or Louis

MisterPenguin7 days ago

Bottom of every page. In addition to the rules delineated in the ToS, additional Moderator directions are to be obeyed, as per the ToS. And rules-lawyering the rules will get one nowhere... A person can banned for any reason the mods/admins see fit, without having to actually explain why. So, if one wanted to go to the ToS to find out their rights... there ain't none. This is a privately owned forum. The owner can do as they please. The only recourse is to join some other forum that fits one's preferences better, or, start their own forum.

EPCOT-O.G.8 days ago

It’s really not. Many posters are using this thread to air their political grievances.

Chi848 days ago

⬇️ Scroll to the bottom of the page. It’s called Terms and Rules.

Figgy18 days ago

https://forums.wdwmagic.com/help/terms/