Fight between Disney and DeSantis appointees over district control gets a July court hearing

(Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) | The court fight between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointees over control of Walt Disney World’s government won’t be decided until at least this summer, provided the two sides don’t reach a settlement beforehand.

A hearing over whether the state court case should move forward or be decided without the need for a full trial was set last week for July 25 in Orlando.

Disney claims the Republican governor and his appointees took over the district, which provides government services like planning and firefighting at Disney World, in retaliation for the company opposing Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law.

The 2022 law banned classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades and was championed by DeSantis, who had used Disney as a punching bag in speeches on the campaign trail until he suspended his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination earlier this year.

DeSantis and his appointees to the governing district had a first-round victory in the multiple court fights over the takeover when a federal judge in Tallahassee in January dismissed Disney’s free speech lawsuit against them. Disney is appealing that decision.

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