The Ongoing Battle Between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: A Clash of Corporate and Government Powers

Title: The Ongoing Battle Between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: A Clash of Corporate and Government Powers


The conflict between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been ongoing for over a year, stemming from the corporation’s opposition to a controversial education law in the state. The clash has resulted in a series of lawsuits and counter-claims, with both parties asserting their First Amendment rights. This article will delve into the details of the dispute, examining the legal arguments presented by Disney and DeSantis, as well as the implications for both the company and the state.

The Origin of the Conflict:

In March 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.[0] This law prohibits public schools in Florida from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with students under the age of nine. Disney officials expressed opposition to the law, which sparked the initial clash between the company and the governor.[1]

Disney’s Lawsuit:

In April 2023, Disney filed a lawsuit in federal court in Tallahassee, claiming that the state’s actions violated the company’s First Amendment rights. The lawsuit argued that the state’s “concerted campaign of retaliation” against Disney for expressing an opinion with which the government disagreed was a clear violation of the company’s constitutional rights. Disney sought an injunction against the two laws, alleging that they were enacted in retaliation for the company’s political speech.

DeSantis’ Response:[0]

Governor DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) Board of Supervisors filed motions to dismiss Disney’s lawsuit.[1] Their attorneys argued that Disney does not have a First Amendment right to decide the structure and composition of the governing entity in the district. They contended that while Disney may own most of the land in the district, the government still belongs to the people, acting through their elected representatives.[2] They also claimed that Disney’s lawsuit was a last-ditch effort to reinstate its corporate kingdom.[2]

The Legal Battle Continues:

Both parties have presented their arguments before a federal judge. Disney claims that the state’s actions have jeopardized its economic future in the region and violated its constitutional rights.[0] On the other hand, DeSantis and the CFTOD Board assert that Disney’s preferred governance structure for the district is not protected by the First Amendment. They argue that the First Amendment does not constrain Florida’s decision to reconstitute state entities that exercise sovereign power.[1]

Implications for Disney and the State:[3]

The outcome of this legal battle has significant implications for both Disney and the state of Florida. If Disney’s lawsuit is successful, it could set a precedent for corporations to challenge state actions that they perceive as retaliatory. On the other hand, if the state’s motion to dismiss is granted, it could limit the ability of corporations to assert their First Amendment rights against government actions.


The clash between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis over a controversial education law has escalated into a legal battle regarding First Amendment rights. Both parties have presented their arguments before a federal judge, with Disney seeking an injunction against the laws enacted by the state. The outcome of this dispute will have far-reaching implications for the balance of power between corporations and government entities. As the legal battle continues, it remains to be seen how it will be resolved and what impact it will have on future conflicts between corporations and state governments.

0. “DeSantis Ditches Florida for Anaheim Amid Ongoing War With Disney – Inside the Magic” Inside the Magic, 30 Sep. 2023,

1. “Governor DeSantis & CFTOD Board File Motions to Dismiss Disney Federal Lawsuit” WDW News Today, 29 Sep. 2023,

2. “Gov. DeSantis’ attorneys ask federal judge to toss out Disney lawsuit” Orlando Weekly, 29 Sep. 2023,

3. “Ron DeSantis Insists Disney Has No Right To Sue Him; Florida Governor Wants “Last-Ditch” Case Chucked” Deadline, 30 Sep. 2023,

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