Disney & CFTOD Argue Over Relevance of Federal Lawsuit Dismissal as Applied to State-Level Case

    Following the dismissal of a federal-level lawsuit that alleged First Amendment retaliation by Governor Ron DeSantis to Disney World, the judgment has reached the ongoing state-level case.

    In a February 1st filing, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District pointed to the dismissal of the federal case, saying that it shows the “irrelevance of Disney’s allegations of retaliation based on the intent or motivation of the District’s leadership and the irrelevance of Disney’s discovery efforts aimed at the intent or motivation of the District’s leadership”.

    In a response filed yesterday afternoon, Disney says that the federal ruling is different in scope and intention when compared to the state-level ruling. Disney notes that the federal ruling is already in appeal, and that Disney will demonstrate in the appeal that the ruling is “wrong as a matter of law” and that while there are numerous errors with the ruling, one such error is how the judge “incorrectly analyzes and applies” one of the key precedent cases.

    Disney says that even if the federal ruling is upheld on appeal, “Judge Winsor’s holding that a First Amendment retaliation claim is only viable if the challenged actions ‘pinpoint’ a particular group” would not be in conflict with the claims Disney is making in the state-level case. Quite the opposite, Disney’s challenges to SB1604 and the Development Agreements are quite pinpointed and narrow to target Disney.

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    Disney actually points to previous orders and rulings from the state-level court that Disney says “recognizes that there are key differences of both fact and law between this action and the action before Judge Winsor”.

    Disney closes out the letter by saying that the information that it seeks through Discovery is not made “irrelevant” by the federal ruling, and that its defenses and counterclaims for various allegations in the state-level case rely on the Discovery to determine if the District’s actions to void the contracts in place “are in good faith or are merely political pretext”.

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

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