Disney drops all but free speech claim in political retaliation suit against DeSantis


A man in a mouse costume holding a poster of Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis stands outside Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. The rally is held to support the “Don’t Say Gay”, a bill supported by Republicans that would ban classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identification for many young students.

Octavio Jones | Reuters

Disney on Thursday amended its federal lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to focus solely on its First Amendment claim that the governor politically retaliated against the company.

Disney last week had asked to drop its other claims in the case, which concern a dispute over Walt Disney World’s development contracts, because they are being actively pursued in a separate state-level lawsuit in Florida.

The revision, which nixes four claims Disney had previously presented in the case, shrinks the company’s federal civil complaint to 48 pages, down from 84 in the prior version.

It’s the latest legal wrinkle in Disney’s two lawsuits stemming from its protracted battle with DeSantis that began last year, when the company publicly denounced the controversial classroom bill dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics.

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