Attorneys for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed a motion Monday requesting that a federal judge dismiss Disney’s lawsuit against him. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
June 26 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called on a federal judge to dismiss Disney's lawsuit against him.
The motion filed by DeSantis' attorneys on Monday argues that Disney "lacks standing to sue" because it has not established an injury that is traceable to the governor. It also suggests that claims against state defendants are "barred by sovereign immunity" and "legislative immunity."
"The acts that Disney rests its claims on were the proposal of, advocacy for, and execution of legislation -- core legislative roles expressly assigned to the governor by the Florida constitution," the court filing reads.
Disney entered a lawsuit against DeSantis in April, alleging that he has engaged in a "relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain state officials."
The "viewpoint" refers to Disney being outspoken in opposition of the governor's so-called "Don't Say Gay" laws. The claim of political retaliation stems from DeSantis and the newly-created Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board that he appointed in an attempt to override a development deal Disney had secured.
The CFTOD was established in February. The district was formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District and was established in 1967.
DeSantis and Republicans in the legislature also have taken several other measures to retract Disney's ability to self govern in the state of Florida, such as removing tax benefits the company has had for more than 50 years.
The motion to dismiss is the latest move from DeSantis' camp after earlier seeking to remove the judge overseeing the lawsuit. The governor has used his battle with the entertainment giant as a talking point on the campaign trail.
Meanwhile, Disney backed out of an estimated $1 billion project to build a new employee campus near Orlando, Fla. The reason for the decision was cited in a memo as "new leadership and changing business conditions."