Walt Disney Company to move forward with retaliation lawsuit against Ron DeSantis

The Florida governor filed a motion in June to dismiss the lawsuit that Disney filed against him. Disney CEO Bob Iger did not back down.

The dispute between Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company continues. A month ago, the Florida governor filed a motion in federal court seeking to dismiss the lawsuit that Disney had filed against him in April of this year after DeSantis attempted to take away the company's rights in the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

In the motion, lawyers for the Republican candidate for president in 2024 alleged that both he and the secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are "immune from suit" and that, therefore, "Disney lacks standing to sue them" since the federal court lacks jurisdiction to do so:

Although Disney grabbed headlines by suing the Governor, Disney — like many litigants before it who have challenged Florida’s laws — has no basis for doing so. Neither the Governor nor the Secretary [of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity] enforce any of the laws at issue, so Disney lacks standing to sue them.

In addition, DeSantis' attorneys asserted that Disney's lawsuit had no compelling reason to go forward. The most important, they explained, was that "a special district cannot bind the State to transfer a portion of its sovereign authority to a private entity."

Disney interested in pursuing court battle

However, Disney is not about to throw in the towel. In a response to a motion obtained by Deadline, Bob Iger assured that he had no intention of dropping the lawsuit against DeSantis.

As the company's CEO explained in the 28-page document, the motion was merely another attempt by DeSantis to "evade responsibility for his actions," and he was unwilling to allow it:

This case presents the fundamental question whether the Governor and the State can escape accountability for their open defiance of our Nation’s most cherished liberties. The Governor seeks to evade responsibility for his actions on a narrower ground, asserting that a governor cannot be held officially liable for implementing, administering, and enforcing state laws that punish residents for political statements violating a state-prescribed speech code. The motion seeks dismissal on Article III standing, sovereign-immunity, and legislative-immunity grounds, but those principles have no application here.