Disney drops all but free speech claim in political retaliation suit against Ron DeSantis

Disney has dropped all claims except for First Amendment protection in its political retaliation suit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The suit was initially filed in October 2020 after Disney suffered job and tax losses due to DeSantis’ retaliation against the company for its stance opposing Florida’s COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. DeSantis was accused of engaging in unlawful retaliation by imposing arbitrary and unfair restrictions on Disney that caused job and tax losses.

Disney is now asking for a jury trial on the First Amendment claim. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the Florida governor violated the company’s First Amendment rights and an injunction prohibiting similar conduct in the future. If successful, Disney is seeking damages and attorneys’ fees. DeSantis has argued that the First Amendment claim should be dismissed, arguing that it is barred by qualified immunity.