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December hearing slated in Disney battle with DeSantis, revamped special district

CBS News Live
CBS News Miami Live

TALLAHASSEE - A federal judge will hear arguments Dec. 12 on requests by Gov. Ron DeSantis and a revamped Central Florida special district to dismiss a high-profile lawsuit filed by Walt Disney Parks and Resort.

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor will hold a hearing in Tallahassee in the case, which centers on allegations that the state unconstitutionally retaliated against Disney because of the company's opposition to a controversial education law.

Attorneys for DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District filed motions in September to dismiss the case. They dispute that a decision by DeSantis and lawmakers to replace the former Reedy Creek Improvement District with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District was retaliation that violated Disney's First Amendment rights.

The decades-old Reedy Creek district was closely aligned with Disney, while DeSantis appointed the new district's board. Disney filed the lawsuit in April and filed a revised version in September.

DeSantis and Disney began clashing in 2022 after company officials opposed a new law that restricted instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

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