Disney Sues Ron DeSantis

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Gives Keynote Address At Heritage Foundation 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit
NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND - APRIL 21: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives remarks at the Heritage Foundation's 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on April 21, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. During his remarks DeSantis spoke on policy and social issues his administration has taken on in the state of Florida including education in schools, funding law enforcement, and gun legislation. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Ron DeSantis has just been dealt another Mickey Mouse-shaped headache

The battle between Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and entertainment behemoth Disney is one of the stranger political stories of the year. DeSantis, a vocal anti-LGBTQ advocate, has taken offense in recent months to the perceived "liberal indoctrination" of children at the hands of Disney. This is a common right-wing talking point that claims Disney is "grooming" children by being accepting of LGBTQ individuals.

DeSantis first took aim at Disney by creating a governor-appointed board that would control the specially exempt land Disney's Florida theme park sits on. Disney responded by nullifying that board's power in an 11th-hour agreement with the outgoing board. DeSantis responded by introducing legislation that would stymie Disney, while also making comments he might build a prison next door. Well, now Disney is hitting back once again

Disney Sues DeSantis On First Amendment Grounds

Disney's latest move is to straight-up sue DeSantis in federal court. In a filing to the District Court of the Northern District of Florida, Disney is suing the governor for a "targeted campaign of government retaliation—orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech." Furthermore, Disney claims that they have been "forced to defend itself against a State weaponizing its power to inflict political punishment." Disney's suit also stated that it was suing because it had the resources to. "a stand smaller businesses and individuals might not be able to take when the State comes after them for expressing their own views. In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind."

So what does this all mean? In short, Disney is suing DeSantis over the First Amendment. The claim is that Disney is allowed to say what they want without fear of retribution from the government. That's because "the government can't punish me for criticizing the government" is literally the First Amendment. Since DeSantis is actively targeting Disney for its views, he is violating the First Amendment. The move is not great for DeSantis, who at one time looked like a 2024 Presidential frontrunner. But now he's watching his hypothetical polling numbers crater while being labeled as the guy fighting Disney. DeSantis, who is currently in Japan, is yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.