Judge in Disney-DeSantis Lawsuit Steps Down

The battle between Disney and DeSantis has seen quite a few twists in the past several months. 

©Governor DeSantis’s Website

Just recently, both sides have been preparing to go to court, with two different lawsuits filed in reference to the situation with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that governs Disney World. There has been a lot of back and forth since the lawsuits were announced, but now there’s a big update for the one that Disney filed.

The New York Times reports that the federal judge in the case Disney brought against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now disqualified himself. The judge is Mark E. Walker, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, and he recused himself because he learned last week that a relative owns 30 shares of Disney stock.

Reedy Creek Building

The case was then reassigned to Judge Allen C. Winsor, who was appointed to the court in 2019. DeSantis’s team of lawyers had previously sought to dismiss Judge Walker because he mentioned the actions DeSantis took against Disney in two unrelated court cases last year. At the time, Disney opposed the disqualification request, as did Judge Walker, saying that his remarks “cannot raise a substantial doubt about my impartiality in the mind of a fully informed, disinterested lay person.”

Magic Kingdom

We’ll be interested to see where this case goes from here. This news comes shortly after one Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board member, Michael Sasso, stepped down from the job. Sasso was replaced by Charbel Barakat, a lawyer from Tampa. 

Click Here to Learn More About the Lawsuit

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