The Mouse That Roared

Mickey fights back, including their right to free speech. I think that’s their strongest suit, until albaby tells me I’m wrong (as usual). :grin:


Anyone have an actual link to the complaint? Editorials about it are all well and good but we all know how sloppy writers can be on the legal facts.

My knee jerk reaction is I think Disney might have an uphill battle. DeSantis has not limited their ability to speak. He has simply encouraged his legislature to provide consequences for that speech (even if they are draconian).

Many of us here have championed the idea that you have freedom of speech but not freedom from the consequences. Considering the many precedents governments have used to make it very difficult for certain business to exist (abortion services, adult book stores, etc.), I think there may be a lot of latitude for the government to do what it wants.


Found it:

I can’t read it from work so I will have to digest it later.

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The First Amendment generally prevents the government from imposing “consequences” for your speech. They can’t say, “you’re free to criticize the governor, but we’ll take your house if you do.”


Sure, but they never make it so blatant.

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I agree. I read the complaint, and I agree Disney’s got a tough case against the people actually named in the lawsuit. Like the Gov’nah. The government can’t have official penalties levied against speech (based on its content, subject to exceptions, etc.). But individual politicians are free to badmouth private companies and threaten dire consequences for their perceived misdeeds.

They might have a decent case against the District for formally adopting a measure that claims that the prior Agreements are unenforceable, on the basis that it constitutes an unconstitutional government sanction based upon speech. Even that, though, seems a little dodgy. Partially because the District itself isn’t a named defendant (while you can’t sue states in federal court because of the 11th Amendment, you’re perfectly free to sue cities or other subordinate governmental bodies), and partially because as to the District the motivation for the revocation language is a lot more mixed.

This affair certainly makes for strange bedfellows. Many on the left have spent years saying that “corporations aren’t people”. Progressives, who are always worried about the power and greed of big corporations, are rooting for one of the biggest corporations in the US to effectively govern itself.

I’ve read that Daniel Petrocelli, who filed the lawsuit for Disney, is the same fellow who defended Trump against a class action lawsuit aimed at Trump University.



For what it’s worth (I know, free advice is worth what you paid for it), here’s a different opinion.

It goes to my thought that Mickey’s goal is to tie this up for the length of the governor’s remaining term.

Got to go, my popcorn is popping ………

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You are misunderstanding the issues. Special improvement districts like Reedy Creek aren’t unusual at all, at least not here in Washington State. It is fairly common for a group of landowners or sometimes even a single developer (think ski resort) to create a special district which allows them to tax themselves to sell bonds to pay for infrastructure that the city or county might not otherwise provide. I’m sure there are pros and cons, but there is nothing nefarious about special improvement districts by themselves.

The issue here Disney and DeSantis disagreed on a political issue (which DeSantis won) but DeSantis, dissatisfied with a mere political victory, became enraged and wants to punish Disney financially for disagreeing with him. For example, he’s threated to put tolls on roads connecting to the park and place special taxes on Disney hotels. The clear message to both Disney and other Florida businesses is don’t disagree with him, or he will use the power of government to attack you.

It does however make for some strange bedfellows. Conservatives have pretty much run on the platform that government is too powerful since at least Ronald Reagan. At least in this case, they argue it isn’t powerful enough.


That article is about a year old. In tripping all over themselves to punish Disney for having a different political viewpoint by dissolving Reedy Creek, the legislators didn’t realize they would be saddling the county with Reedy Creek’s debt as well. So they had to settle for replacing the board with people holding approved anti-gay viewpoints.


Agreed. And since the Citizens United ruling the left has argued that corporations aren’t people and don’t have constitutionally protected rights. Yet in this thread we have people supporting Disney’s right to free speech.



I have a “popcorn rule” that applies to almost all cooking. While cooking popcorn, NO SOCIAL MEDIA of any sort, no screens, no audio listening, no nothing … until it’s done. That’s because even 10 seconds extra on the flame can ruin a batch of good popcorn. 30-45 seconds extra can make the pot unusable for the next batch of popcorn before a thorough cleaning. So while making popcorn, I have to remain within earshot, with no distractions at all, until it is done and removed from the heat.


What the Constitution does give to corporations, as much as anyone else, is contract rights. That seems to keep getting lost in the argument about “free speech”.

Article 1, Section 10: Powers Denied to the States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

Disney and the state of Florida had a contract: Disney would built the park, if the state gave it certain powers within that area. Unilaterally revoking those powers, without compensation, violates the contract.

How can a company conduct it’s business without being able to rely on the enforceability of contracts? The fact that Florida broke the contract out of malicious spite, adds to the crime it committed against Disney.

Of course, government using it’s power out of malicious spite is the sort of thing you see in banana republics.



They’re not. But they are “persons.” Big difference - and often confused.

That is obvious incorrect. And I think you know that. People are not rooting for Disney. They are rooting against DeSantis and his obvious vindictive behavior. None of this has anything to do with proper governance - as demonstrated by the fact that even just a little over a year ago, Reps would have been defending the structure of Reedy Creek and Dems were generally opposed to it.


Interesting coincidence in the 2nd Cause of Action.

I can’t copy and past from the document but that is basically the exact same case that went before SCOTUS today - a violation of the Takings Clause.

I think they also have a decent case under the 3rd Action, Due Process. There has been more than enough commentary by TPTB that the actions were “arbitrary and irrational.”

I now think my knee jerk was wrong. I think Disney might have a decent case, at least on those two Causes.

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In case no-one noticed, the homophobic Florida law that started this dustup, has been revised. The state Board of Ed has now extended it through High School. So now, it is illegal to acknowledge the existence of gay people at any level, in the state’s K-12 “education” system.

Does this surprise anyone? anyone?


Agreed. And yet we read references to ‘free speech’ in several posts in this thread including the OP. And for years you can find stuff like this:,were%20quite%20clear%20on%20this%20central%20constitutional%20issue.4
“The ruling [Citizens United] marks the ‘touchdown end zone dance’ for those who claim for-profit corporations have the same fundamental constitutional rights as real, live people.”



My intense disagreement with that decision is wrapped around two points

  1. Confusing the legal notion of
    – corporations licensed by government to exist as “fictional, notional artificial persons” for purposes of contracts, ownership, etc… with
    – the literally “sacred idea” of political rights held by “we the people” communally and individually to freely engage as PEOPLE talking and thinking together

  2. the utterly poisonous notion that one right of these fictional persons is to “speech”, and that somehow or other this “speech”, which mostly means spending enormous sums of money for interests held by fictional entities.

Makes me feel revolutionary.

david fb


David, isn’t that something you’ve felt for many decades?



Interesting and true but falling apart right now.

I don’t know how discussions get off on the wrong tack like that. As posted on another thread a while back, “Citizens” hinged on the first amendment right of assembly, as well as free speech, and cast the CEO as the spokesperson for the other members of the group (employees, shareholders, other stakeholders). Every time I see a shareholder proposal on a proxy to require management to disclose who they are bribing, and why, I vote for it. Management, on the other hand, always insists who it bribes, and why, is none of the stakeholder’s business and should remain secret. So puzzle me this: how can the CEO purport to be the spokesperson for all the other stakeholders, without the informed consent of those other stakeholders?

Steve…watching bad laws multiply