Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against DeSantis Over Disney’s District Revokation

Photo by Anna via Wikimedia Commons

Florida Governor notched a legal win on Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga tossed a lawsuit that sought to halt the dismantling of the Walt Disney World Resort’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The Washington Examiner reports:

“In Count I, Plaintiffs allege that Senate Bill 4-C violates Florida’s Reedy Creek Improvement Act and ‘contractual obligations’ the state owes to Floridians,” Altonaga, a Bush appointee, wrote. “The Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ sole remaining claim for violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights. ‘[A] party generally may assert only his or her own rights and cannot raise the claims of third parties not before the court.'”

In the 1960s, Florida established RCID as a special district under the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. RCID is run by the landowners in the district, predominantly Disney, who oversee basic local government functions such as zoning, infrastructure, and building codes.

Democrat senate hopeful William Sanchez filed the lawsuit last week and listed Michael, Edward Foronda, and Vivian Gorsky as plaintiffs.

They argued that SB 4-C violates the Florida Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and Reedy Creek Improvement Act, but Altonaga ruled those were state laws outside the federal court’s jurisdiction. She also noted the legislation in question had not yet taken effect.

“None of Plaintiffs’ claims is ripe. Senate Bill 4-C does not take effect until July 1, 2022,” the judge said. “When a plaintiff files ‘a preenforcement, constitutional challenge to a state statute, the injury requirement may be satisfied by establishing a realistic danger of sustaining direct injury as a result of the statute’s operation or enforcement.'”

Critics have claimed DeSantis revoked Disney’s special status over its opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Bill.


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