DeSantis’ Legal Team Asks Judge Mark E. Walker to Recuse Himself from Disney World’s Federal Lawsuit

    A newly filed Motion to Disqualify, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ legal team is asking Chief Judge Mark E. Walker to recuse himself from a federal lawsuit filed by Disney World against DeSantis.

    The motion from DeSantis’ legal team claims that Judge Walker is biased in the matter of Disney’s claim of government retaliation. The motion points to two cases where Judge Walker used Disney as an example of State retaliation.

    Dueling Lawsuits

    There are two high-profile lawsuits currently in the courts that take aim at a Development Agreement that Disney entered into with the previous Board of Supervisors of the then-named Reedy Creek Improvement District.

    Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board of Supervisors

    One lawsuit was filed by Disney World against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) Board of Supervisors, among others. The lawsuit asks the court to recognize the Development Agreement as valid and to recognize the series of events and bills that led to the State takeover of the Reedy Creek Improvement District as a violation of the First Amendment rights of the Company. Ultimately, Disney wants the State takeover of the RCID to be undone.

    In a separate lawsuit, the CFTOD is seeing Disney World, asking the court to recognize the Development Agreement as null and void, citing a series of contract infirmities.

    A State Prison at Disney World?

    Beyond the Development Agreement, DeSantis has threatened to build a State prison at Walt Disney World. In an April 17th press conference, DeSantis floated some ideas on how CFTOD could use its land should the Development Agreement be determined to be null and void. It sounds farfetched, but DeSantis floated the idea among a list of other ideas for land use such as building more amusement parks in the immediate area next to Disney World.

    What should we do with this land? And so, you know, it’s like, ok, kids – I mean, people have said, you know, maybe have another – maybe create a state park. Maybe try to do more amusement parks. Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I mean, I just think that the possibilities are endless.
    Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor

    To Invest or Not?

    In a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke out to “set the record straight” on Disney’s position on the ongoing fight with DeSantis and Florida Republicans. At the end of his long answer, which you can read in its entirety below, Iger simply asks “does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes or not?”

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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