Disney Refocuses Lawsuit Against DeSantis on Free Speech, Dropping Other Claims

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Ron DeSantis is still standing tall in Florida, even as the fight for the nomination in 2024 continues to become dumber. The Walt Disney Company dropped all claims against the Governor except the First Amendment claim in its amended federal lawsuit filed on Thursday.

Disney amended its federal lawsuit on Thursday against the Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis, Disney will focus on its First Amendment claims that the governor has politically retaliated.

Disney asked last week to drop the other claims it had in this case. These concern a dispute about Walt Disney World’s development contracts. They are actively being pursued by a separate Florida state lawsuit.

Disney’s spokesperson told CNBC that they would continue to fight to defend the contracts. These agreements determine whether Disney can invest billions and create thousands of jobs in Florida.

There were the usual suspects who tried to spin this development. But there’s no other way to describe it than a retreat. Disney didn’t want the contract disputes decided in Florida state court due to Florida’s unfavorable judicial makeup. DeSantis, in particular, has changed the state’s Supreme Court from a majority of liberals to an overwhelmingly conservative court during his two terms as governor.

Disney’s new board of directors was happy to see that the company backed down from its claims in federal court. They believe their claims will likely prevail in state court.

The fact that Disney filed a suit never meant that Disney “beat” DeSantis. I’ve lost count of the number of lawsuits filed against Trump’s administration. What’s the point? That doesn’t denote victory. To beat someone, the opposition forces must win in court. DeSantis, the board, and their leadership are confident about their chances.

Disney’s stock has dropped to a low for the year and is worth less than half what it was before DeSantis became governor. Anyone who believes that is “winning” wants the Florida Governor to fail at any cost.

There have been a lot of ice-cold takes shared over the last year or so. I suspect that in the end, DeSantis will make them eat their words, to the extent that he hasn’t already. Will they apologize? Of course, not.