Disney’s battle against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ control of a board overseeing Walt Disney World has led his appointees to request a Florida judge’s immediate ruling, bypassing the need for a trial, according to a court filing on Tuesday.
Members of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District are seeking a summary judgment from an Orlando state judge, aiming to secure a favorable decision on five out of the nine counts in their case.
This legal dispute is one of two arising from the takeover, which was prompted by Disney’s vocal opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation supported by DeSantis and fellow Republican lawmakers.
In a separate federal lawsuit in Tallahassee, Disney contends that DeSantis violated the company’s right to free speech.
DeSantis is not directly involved in the state court case where individuals he appointed have accused Disney of improperly removing their authority over design and construction at Disney World.
These DeSantis appointees contend that the Disney-friendly predecessors’ board did not provide sufficient notice, lacked appropriate authority, and unlawfully transferred government powers to a private entity.
The conflict between DeSantis and Disney commenced the prior year. This came about as the company, under both internal and external pressure, openly contested a state law. This law prohibited teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in the early stages of education, a policy often labeled as “Don’t Say Gay.”
In response, DeSantis intervened in the district’s affairs via a legislative process approved by Florida’s lawmakers. This action led to the appointment of a fresh board of supervisors who would be responsible for overseeing various services related to the expansive theme parks and hotels. However, the extent of authority held by these new supervisors was constrained by agreements the company had previously established with their predecessors.