DeSantis Scores a Win in Disney Lawsuit

Judge on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Credit: Disney

On Thursday, June 1, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis scored a win in his legal battle against the Walt Disney Company.

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DeSantis Demands


Credit: ABC

The Florida Governor’s legal team requested the judge in the Disney v. DeSantis lawsuit recuse himself over comments he made that some attorneys argued implied bias. The judge presiding over the case, Judge Walker, had previously ruled on cases where he referenced the state retaliating against Disney. The lawyers representing Governor DeSantis argued that the judge’s comments could imply prejudice in favor of Disney.

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The motion caused the case to pause briefly last week. However, the judge considered the request but then refused to recuse himself.

Judge Walker Walks

The judge has since recused himself for a different reason altogether. Judge Walker revealed that a family member owned stock in the Walt Disney Company.

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He stated: “On Friday, May 26, 2023, I learned, and later confirmed, that a relative within the third degree of relationship owns thirty shares of stock in Plaintiff’s parent corporation, The Walt Disney Company.”

A third-degree relative would include first cousins, great-grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles, or great-grandchildren, among others.

Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

A Trump Judge

Federal Judge Allen C. Windsor, appointed by former president Donald J. Trump is set to take over all proceedings related to the case.

It will be interesting to see how this trial and all pending litigation between the Walt Disney Company and the State of Florida pans out. While Disney stocks seem to struggle and Disney Plus loses subscribers, Governor Ron DeSantis has declared his campaign for President of the United States. And, of course, the X factor in all of this is Donald Trump. The former president lives in Florida, is running against Ron DeSantis for president, and has one of his appointed judges overseeing the Disney v DeSantis case.

RELATED: Disney/DeSantis Feud May Benefit Disney Guests

Trump Hall of Presidents

Credit: Disney

It’s shaping up to be quite a mess. And in the end, whoever the “winner” is, Disney fans and the American people may be the ones who lose the most.

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)