Leaflet | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Disney asked a Florida court on Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit by the board of supervisors that Gov. Ron DeSantis personally hand-picked to oversee Walt Disney World operations.

Court filings say the lawsuit was declared moot after DeSantis signed a bill that voided Disney development contracts that are now at the center of a long-running conflict between Disney and the Republican governor.

By signing that legislation, DeSantis essentially took the same action the board is asking the court to take, Disney argued.

The governor’s move “renders any order this court might issue — in favor of both parties — legally irrelevant,” Disney’s lawyers wrote.

In a statement to CNBC, a spokesman for the special tax area overseen by the board said: “This motion by Disney is completely predictable and is confirmation that they know they will lose this case.”

The lawsuit at the state level was filed in response to Disney’s federal civil case accuses DeSantis and board members of waging a campaign of political retaliation against the entertainment giant. Disney filed the lawsuit after the board voted to void development contracts the company said it had struck to secure its investment.

Disney expanded her lawsuit last week accused DeSantis of doubling down on his political vendetta signing legislation cancel Disney development contracts in Orlando.

The battle between DeSantis and one of his state’s largest employers began after Disney publicly criticized Florida’s controversial law — dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics — that restricts discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.

Soon after, the governor and his allies targeted Disney’s special taxing district, formerly called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has allowed the entertainment giant to effectively run its Orlando parks for decades.

The district was ultimately left intact, but its five-member board was replaced by DeSantis’ picks.

In March, a new slate of county supervisors accused Disney of creating “11th-hour” development deals to thwart board performance on an area of ​​25,000 acres. Disney disputes that characterization, saying the contracts were created to help lock in its long-term development plans.

DeSantis continued his fight with Disney as he did will be placed for probably a presidential campaign announcement in the coming weeks. A governor who is currently considered a former president Donald TrumpThe top threat for the 2024 Republican nomination has won favor with Republicans and gained national attention by waging high-profile fights on pressing cultural issues.

But he may have come down too hard on Disney if it prevails in its motion to dismiss the board’s lawsuit as a result of the governor’s additional legislation.

Disney argued that the bill completely undermines the lawsuits against it, regardless of who wins.

If the court agrees with Disney that its development agreements were valid, then “the board would still be prohibited from complying with them under the new state statute,” Disney argued.

On the other hand, if the court were to side with the board, its decision “would be unnecessary because the contracts would already be void under the new state statute,” the company wrote.

“In short, any declaration of the enforceability, invalidity, or validity of the contracts – in any event – would be an advisory opinion of no real consequence. Florida trial courts are prohibited from issuing advisory opinions, and this case should be dismissed.” ” claimed Disney.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source Link