DeSantis Strikes Back at Disney: New Demands Leave Florida in Shock

Toni Koraza
Photo byPhoto by: Gage Skidmore

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his associates are working to disqualify a federal judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, from Disney's First Amendment lawsuit.

The governor's administration can't stand this judge, according to Politico. DeSantis seems to dislike the judge's history of adhering to the rule of law.

He also claims the judge's earlier comments in other cases have called into question his objectivity on the state's efforts to seize control of Disney World.

A DeSantis' lawyer submitted a motion in federal court in Tallahassee asking for Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker to be excluded from presiding over the lawsuit Disney brought last month.

Violating the First Amendment

The lawsuit claims that DeSantis and his appointees violated Disney's free speech rights and the contracts clause when they took over Disney's special governing district after Disney's public disagreement with the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The Republican governor filed his request a day after Disney revealed that it was abandoning plans to shift 2,000 employees from Southern California to work in digital technology, finance, and product development to a new campus in central Florida due to an ongoing dispute with DeSantis.

DeSantis’ motion stated Walker brought up the current legal battle between his administration and Disney during hearings for two separate lawsuits before him that dealt with free speech concerns and the risk of reprisal for breaking new laws supported by DeSantis and Republican legislators.

One of these was a First Amendment case brought by Florida professors to oppose a new rule that mandated a survey on "intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity" in state-run institutions.

Judge Walker dismissed that action on the grounds that the academics lacked standing to challenge the law promoted by DeSantis and Florida lawmakers.

What do you think about the ongoing war on Disney?

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