New Timeline Established in Disney vs DeSantis First Amendment Lawsuit in Federal Court

    A new timeline has been established for the federal lawsuit where Disney is suing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others in a First Amendment fight. The timeline has been agreed to by both parties after Disney filed a new complaint against DeSantis, rendering the first complaint moot.

    United States District Judge Allen Winsor has accepted the following timeline established jointly by both parties:

    • Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss deadline: September 28, 2023
    • Plaintiffs’ Response deadline: October 19, 2023
    • Defendants’ Replies deadline: October 30, 2023

    The new deadlines come after Judge Winsor ordered Disney’s First Complaint as moot given that they filed a Second Complaint. In the Second Complaint, Disney has narrowed the scope of its lawsuit to just a single cause of action – a First Amendment violation by DeSantis, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board Members, and the Administrator of the CFTOD.

    Disney has moved the majority of its Federal complaints to a state-level court when it countersued the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. Following the narrowing of Disney’s Federal lawsuit and countersuit in state-level court, CFTOD Chair Martin Garcia had some strong words that he shared at a recent Board meeting. In the prepared statement, Garcia called the 50+ year partnership between Disney World and the Reedy Creek Improvement District local government “one of the greatest examples of corporate cronyism in modern American history”. Garcia also said that the Federal charges were “bogus” and called Disney’s inclusion of the charges in the Federal case “a publicity stunt”.

    Disney World has not responded to a request for comment on Garcia’s words.

    It’s important to note that the schedule above is for pre-trial motions and responses. A timeframe for the actual trial has not been set. Back in June, presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis asked the judge to establish a timeline that would be after the United States presidential election. Disney asked the judge for a timeline that would see the parties enter the courtroom next Spring or Summer. Judge Winsor said that both parties were being unreasonable.

    In it’s slimmed down Federal lawsuit, Disney says that it’s comments on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill are “fully protected by the First Amendment”. Disney says that DeSantis and others acted in a retaliatory manner to reconstitute the Reedy Creek Improvement District and that their actions “have chilled and continue to chill Disney’s protected speech”.

    Disney says it has a “significant interest in its governing body’s composition and structure, which has been directly targeted by the enactment of legislation providing for its complete revision. Disney faces concrete, imminent, and ongoing injury as a result of CFTOD’s new powers and composition”.

    DeSantis and other defendants have until September 28th to file their Motion to Dismiss, which they say they intend on doing.

    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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