A judge dismissed a federal lawsuit filed by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.
The lawsuit filed against DeSantis alleged that, “he retaliated against the company for publicly criticizing a controversial parental rights education law,” according to CNBC.
The reported lawsuit was brought forward in April after DeSantis signed a bill that gave him jurisdiction over a “47-square-mile district that contains Walt Disney World Resort.”
The ruling has been reported as a win for DeSantis and his appointed board that oversees Disney’s Florida property in an, “escalating legal battle with the entertainment giant.”
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor, a Trump appointee, said that the Disney corporation didn’t have standing on a claim that DeSantis violated their First Amendment rights as the board members were appointed under a constitutional statute.
Disney’s claims further “failed on the merits,” Winsor said, against members of the board that supervise the Disney property in Florida.
Forbes reported that, “free-speech challenges can’t be brought ‘by claiming that the lawmakers who passed it acted with a constitutionally impermissible purpose,’” the judge stated.
A DeSantis spokesman said in response to the judge’s ruling, “the Corporate Kingdom is over. The days of Disney controlling its own government and being placed above the law are long gone. Disney is still just one of many corporations in the state and they do not have a right to their own special government.”
A Disney spokesperson told CNN in a statement that, “this is an important case with serious implications for the rule of law, and it will not end here.”
NPR reported that Disney’s statement in response to the judge’s ruling detailed that the company plans to “press forward with its case,” and further elaborated, “if left unchallenged, this would set a dangerous precedent and give license to states to weaponize their official powers to punish the expression of political viewpoints they disagree with.”