DeSantis Looking for Disney Lawsuit Dismissal, Claiming Immunity
Eyeing a courtroom win of any kind, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's legal team filed a motion to have Disney's lawsuit dismissed - here's why.
If you're 2024 GOP POTUS nominee, Donald Trump's favored punching bag & Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, you're looking for some kind of legal in – even if it's just getting out of a parking ticket. Only days after Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the Federal District Court in Orlando issued a preliminary injunction blocking the DeSantis-backed law restricting drag performances in the state, the governor's legal team is looking to get The Walt Disney Company's lawsuit dismissed on two counts: that DeSantis has immunity from prosecution and that the federal district court hearing the lawsuit lacks jurisdiction.
"Although Disney grabbed headlines by suing the Governor, Disney – like many litigants before it who have challenged Florida's laws — has no basis for doing so. Neither the Governor nor the Secretary [of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity] enforce any of the laws at issue, so Disney lacks standing to sue them," DeSantis' attorneys wrote in their submitted motion. Essentially, DeSantis people are claiming that the governor had the right to "absolute legislative immunity" in these matters – including DeSantis signing legislation in an effort to further take control of the Reedy Creek special district, even if done as retaliation (as Disney claims in its lawsuit). In its motion, DeSantis' lawyers argue that the governor does not enforce the legislation simply "because he signed it" and that "When the governor signs a bill, he acts in a legislative, not executive, capacity."
In addition, the governor's lawyers argue that the only power that DeSantis has over the Reedy Creek special district is to appoint members and that the actions of the board are apart from the governor and his office. Applying the same argument to "The Mouse's" claim that the governor also violated the contract clause found in Florida's constitution, the lawyers make the case that DeSantis has no authority to enforce any contracts that Disney has with the state.