Did the state violate Disney’s first amendment rights?

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill that dismantles Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, he said it was intended to crack down on the practice of special districts being given privileges. “It was really an aberration. No company or individual in Florida is treated this way and it’s not right to have dissimilar treatment,” DeSantis said. The governor also expressed being upset that Disney has called for the repeal of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, a bill critics call the Don’t Say Gay law. It bans classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. “You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re gonna marshal your economic might to attack the parents in my state. We view that as a provocation, but we’re gonna fight back,” DeSantis said. The motive for the dissolution of Disney’s special taxing district is significant. Some constitutional rights experts question if the state has violated Disney’s first amendment right.Longwood Attorney Larry Walters specializes in first amendment rights.He says it’s possible Disney could sue the state claiming it was punished for taking a stand. “If Disney can prove that that’s what happened — that there was a retaliation against Disney by the state of Florida, who sought to take away a benefit that the government had previously gave to Disney — that might set for a retaliation claim under the first amendment,” Walters said. Walters acknowledges even if Disney did file suit, it would be a tough battle. He says issues of motive and intent are notoriously tough to prove in court.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill that dismantles Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, he said it was intended to crack down on the practice of special districts being given privileges.

“It was really an aberration. No company or individual in Florida is treated this way and it’s not right to have dissimilar treatment,” DeSantis said.

The governor also expressed being upset that Disney has called for the repeal of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, a bill critics call the Don’t Say Gay law.

It bans classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

“You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re gonna marshal your economic might to attack the parents in my state. We view that as a provocation, but we’re gonna fight back,” DeSantis said.

The motive for the dissolution of Disney’s special taxing district is significant.

Some constitutional rights experts question if the state has violated Disney’s first amendment right.

Longwood Attorney Larry Walters specializes in first amendment rights.

He says it’s possible Disney could sue the state claiming it was punished for taking a stand.

“If Disney can prove that that’s what happened — that there was a retaliation against Disney by the state of Florida, who sought to take away a benefit that the government had previously gave to Disney — that might set for a retaliation claim under the first amendment,” Walters said.

Walters acknowledges even if Disney did file suit, it would be a tough battle.

He says issues of motive and intent are notoriously tough to prove in court.

https://www.wesh.com/article/disney-reedy-creek/39818830