Disney Drops Claims in Lawsuit Against Ron DeSantis

The Walt Disney Co. has dropped various claims from its ongoing lawsuit against Ron DeSantis, trimming down the suit to instead focus on alleged First Amendment violations.

In a complaint filed on Tuesday (via The Hollywood Reporter), Disney amended its original lawsuit, dropping Contracts Clause, Takings Clause, and Due Process Clause violations. Instead, the suit will now focus on the allegations that DeSantis retaliated specifically against Disney for its opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, a move that Disney claims violated its right to free speech.

What is the history of Disney vs. Florida?

The situation between Disney and DeSantis began earlier this year, when an agreement between Disney and a special district in Florida over development contracts originally took place on February 8, 2023, a day before Florida’s state legislature passed a bill at the behest of DeSantis that changed the leadership structure at Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The new bill allowed DeSantis to appoint members of the district’s governing body himself, which led Disney to sue DeSantis in April, alleging that DeSantis was going after the company for its views by hand-picking an oversight board that voided an agreement between Disney and the previous oversight board.

Following the lawsuit, Disney was taken to court by the state, with a state court covering Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District accusing Disney of putting together a “series of eleventh-hour deals” in order to retain the powers that allowed it to continue overseeing the operation of development around its theme park.