Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against DeSantis over Reedy Creek Special Status Abolishment

A lawsuit filed by residents of Orange and Osceola counties against Governor Ron DeSantis in the wake of the governor’s battle with Disney has been struck down.

Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Cecilia Maria Altonaga Tuesday issued her order summarily dismissing the lawsuit, which challenged DeSantis after he stripped Reedy Creek, home to Disney’s theme park, of its special status.

“The judge’s decision is correct and doesn’t come as a surprise,” DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told The Florida Capital Star.

Pushaw shared the judge’s ruling, which said that the plaintiffs had no standing because they were suing based on the speculation that their taxes could increase if the Randy Creek Improvement District loses its special district designation.

Plaintiffs’ theory of standing is that the elimination of the Reedy Creek Improvement District might result in financial harm to Plaintiffs by virtue of a tax increase that has not yet been enacted. (See Compl. ¶¶ 7–10). That indirect and highly speculative alleged injury cannot support federal jurisdiction. Senate Bill 4-C itself will not raise Plaintiffs’ taxes. Again — it is worth emphasizing — the bill does not apply to Plaintiffs at all. See Senate Bill 4-C, § 1, Regular Sess. (Fla. Apr. 22, 2022).

The suit stems from DeSantis’ battle with The Disney Corporation.

The Governor stripped the company of its special district status – which allowed it to operate as its own quasi-governmental entity.

The tiff began when DeSantis signed into law HB 1557, which disallowed Florida’s teachers from teaching gender identity and sexuality to kindergarten through third-grade students. The anti-grooming legislation was labeled as a “Don’t Say Gay” bill by the far-left, perceived by the loud minority as an attack on LGBT rights.

In response, Disney condemned the bill and said its goal was to have it reversed or struck down in court, miffing DeSantis and leading to the revocation of its special status.

“Governor DeSantis has always said that the residents of Orange and Osceola counties will not have to bear the burden of Disney’s debt,” Pushaw said. “This misinformation has been spread by partisan actors hoping that the Reedy Creek Special District repeal will result in a taxpayer burden that they can use as a cudgel to attack the governor. In other words, opponents of Governor DeSantis are hoping for misfortunes to befall our fellow Floridians so they can use it to score cheap political points.”

“In reality, this opportunity can, and should be utilized to generate more taxes from Disney, as the governor has said. Governor DeSantis keeps his promises, and his critics should take note of that instead of repeatedly humiliating themselves,” she said.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to dabroscareports@gmail.com.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis



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