Disney challenges free speech case dismissal as DeSantis urges corporation to move ahead.(Part-2)

Maybe Disney should go back to lobbying and writing checks,” said Rollins College professor emeritus Richard Foglesong, who published “Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando” on Disney World’s governance.

As the judge's ruling shows, they erred in using the courts to resolve a political question,” Foglesong said Thursday. Everyone knows the Legislature retaliated against Disney. It was unprovable legally.”

Orlando attorney Jacob Schumer, who has followed the case, cited a Wednesday social media post when asked to comment on the judge's ruling in an email. In the post, he said the appellate court must decide if a statute targets a business even if it isn't named but meets the requirements.

“I still think that they'll be uncomfortable leaving in a loophole that basically says you can freely retaliate for speech by specifying a party via objective criteria rather than by name,” Schumer said of the appellate court.

Disney's attorneys may take hope in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' recent decision to overturn a lower court ruling in a case opponents saw as another example of DeSantis' overreach. The appeal court referred ex-prosecutor Andrew Warren's case back to a trial judge to assess if the governor's suspension was inappropriately centered on remarks Warren and other prosecutors wrote against abortion and gender care criminalization bills.

Before DeSantis appointees took over the district early this year, Disney friends on its board negotiated agreements with Disney to give the firm authority over Disney World design and construction

The new DeSantis appointees said the “eleventh-hour deals” weakened their authority, so the district sued the corporation in Orlando state court to dissolve the contracts.

Disney counterclaims include asking the state court to uphold the agreements. Disney filed for a six-month halt in the state court lawsuit Wednesday, citing its inability to depose the new DeSantis-allied district administration and obtain records from the district.