Disney Loses A Crucial Battle Against Florida In Ongoing Legal Battles

Gov. Ron DeSantis got his way, and a new judge has been appointed in the battle of Disney vs. Florida.

By Britta DeVore | Updated


The battle rages on between Disney and the state of Florida as Governor Ron DeSantis has managed to win a bid that would disqualify the judge who was first tasked with the case. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the judge at first shut down DeSantis’ attempt at disqualification but the Governor was able to push through and get his way. And, judging by the background of the new man in command, things aren’t looking great for the House of Mouse.

Things were at first looking optimistic for Disney when the case was put in the hands of the U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker, who previously ruled against the Florida Governor last year in a different First Amendment case surrounding what could be taught in universities. Now, the new judge appointed to the case is U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor who is an appointee of former president Donald Trump. With ties to DeSantis through Trump, there’s always the possibility that the eyes of justice will not be blind in this case.

As for Judge Walker, he said that his reasoning for stepping down was that his extended family owns stock in The Walt Disney Company, meaning that he wasn’t ruling from a completely unbiased place. He did, however, stand against his belief that without this piece of stock, his overseeing of the Disney v. The Florida Governor case wouldn’t be carried out as biased against DeSantis or towards the corporation. Citing the code of conduct for federal judges, Walker said that he’s unable to sit on the case as he has a “relative within the third degree of relationship” with The Walt Disney Company.

Disney and Florida are currently in a heated legal battle that has seen them going back and forth with lawsuits galore. Standing up for their rights as a corporation and speaking out against DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” bill, the House of Mouse has been on both the defense and the offense over the last few months. Taking his hits where he can, DeSantis has been trying to hurt the company where it matters – in its bank account.

Disney World

In May, Disney filed a suit that claimed that the Florida governor’s oversight board made an illegal move to axe an agreement that gave the company their power back over a since destroyed district in Disney. In a petty battle for DeSantis to wage on the corporation, Disney claimed that they were the center of a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” because the governor says that he wants to place taxes on their resorts and hotels and also toll the roads leading to their theme parks. There’s also a plan that would see a state prison popping up next to the Orlando location – a clear flex of power from DeSantis.

As the battle between Disney and Florida rages on, the company continues to make hand over fist from visitors hoping to get their slice of pie from the happiest place on Earth. While DeSantis may hope to destroy the company for good – or at least take a chunk from its wallet – the staying power of The Walt Disney Company will be around long after DeSantis eventually leaves the political arena.