(PresidentialWire.com)- A court battle launched to overturn the decision to revoke Walt Disney World’s self-governing status in Florida fell flat on its face recently.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga dismissed the case that was brought against the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, for dismantling the Reedy Creek Improvement District on which Walt Disney World stands.
The judge ruled the case had to be dismissed because it was a state issue and not a federal one. She also added that the First Amendment arguments the plaintiffs made in the case were flawed. Further, the entire premise of their lawsuit was based on a law that doesn’t even go into effect until July.
In her ruling, Altonaga wrote:
“In Count I, Plaintiffs allege that Senate Bill 4-C violates Florida’s Reedy Creek Improvement Act and ‘contractual obligations’ the state owes to Floridians. The Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim for violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights. ‘[A] party generally may assert only his or her own rights and cannot raise the claims of third parties not before the court.'”
The RCID was established during the 1960s. It is run by those who own the land within the district, with Disney being the primary landholder. They oversee all of the typical government functions of the district, including building codes, infrastructure and zoning.
The district gives Disney basically free reign to bypass standard state procedures for building and developing their land, but also makes it their responsibility to build, maintain and repair infrastructure such as roads.
DeSantis initiated the revocation of the RCID after Disney publicly criticized a bill he signed, which is being dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Some people tried to help Disney in federal court, but their arguments were flawed, the judge ruled.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that a bill violates the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and Reed Creek Improvement Act. The judge said the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction over those state laws, though.
What’s more, the legislation they referred to, SB 4-C, doesn’t go into effect until July. Altonaga wrote in her ruling:
“None of Plaintiffs’ claims is ripe. Senate Bill 4-C does not take effect until July 1, 2022. When a plaintiff files ‘a preenforcement, constitutional challenge to a state statute, the injury requirement may be satisfied by establishing a realistic danger of sustaining direct injury as a result of the statute’s operation or enforcement.'”
The bill in question doesn’t mention taxpayers at all. That being said, many political experts predict that local taxes in the Orlando area could increase by more than $1 billion due to the abolition of the RCID.
A main reason for that is the state will now be responsible for taking back control over all the management and duties within the RCID — which is an expensive proposition.
This lawsuit was filed by William Sanchez, who is running for Senate as a Democrat. Following the ruling he said he would file an amended complaint.