Disney made a huge mistake in picking a fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Woke corporate executives are now understanding the depths of their error.
And that’s because Ron DeSantis scored another major win that will leave Disney scrambling in panic.
Conservatives are fed up with woke corporations trying to bully Red state governments into bowing to the Left’s social agenda.
The last straw for Floridians came when Disney announced its intention to defeat the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which prevented teachers from grooming children with woke ideology about transgenderism and homosexuality.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law that eliminated Disney’s special privileges, which allows the “House of Mouse” to operate as its own self-government in the Reedy Creek District.
Naturally, this provoked a lawsuit on the Left.
Miami lawyer and Democrat candidate for Senate William Sanchez filed a lawsuit alleging the legislation violated Disney’s right to First Amendment rights, as the government cannot punish corporations or individuals for protected speech.
U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga dismissed the lawsuit on multiple grounds.
Judge Altonaga ruled that the plaintiffs “do not plausibly allege they have suffered any concrete injury as a result of the alleged violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights, and nothing in the Complaint shows Plaintiffs have a close relationship with Disney.”
Judge Altonaga also laughed out of court the claim that the legislation violated Disney’s First Amendment rights, ruling:
Far from it: Plaintiffs expressly allege that they “expect Disney and the State of Florida to litigate this matter for a significant period of time[.]” That fact alone warrants dismissal. See, e.g., Harris, 20 F.3d at 1124–25 (holding that case must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to show that non-parties whose First Amendment rights were allegedly violated faced hindrance in asserting their rights).
Another notable exception to the general principle that a party may not sue for violations of others’ constitutional rights applies in the First Amendment context. But that exception relaxes traditional standing requirements only when a litigant asserts a claim of First Amendment overbreadth. Plaintiffs assert no such claim here. They instead allege what is in essence a First Amendment retaliation claim on Disney’s behalf. And First Amendment retaliation claims do not qualify for watered-down third-party standing standards.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is showing Republican elected officials how to fight back against woke corporations.
And conservatives are hoping more Governors and members of Congress adopt DeSantis’ playbook.
Renewed Right will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.