Legal analyst Andrew Esquire recently shared his predictions that the state of Florida will get “giant wins” in their legal battles with The Walt Disney Company over the former Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The Walt Disney Company sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and various other Florida government officials in a 77 page document filed back at the end of April.
In the lawsuit Disney alleges that Florida’s decision to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District violates the Contracts Clause of the United States Constitution, violates the Takings Caluse of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and violates the company’s First Amendment political speech.
The newly created Central Florida Tourism Oversight district board would sue The Walt Disney Company in the state of Florida a couple of days after Disney’s federal lawsuit.
As reported by Reuters, the board’s lawsuit alleges, “In an effort to stymie Florida’s elected representatives, Disney covertly cobbled together a series of eleventh-hour deals with its soon-to-be-replaced puppet government.”
It adds, “Disney hoped to tie the hands of the new, independent Board and to preserve … its own government in the District for at least the next 30 years.”
During an appearance on the WDW Pro YouTube channel, Esquire explained his expertise, “Number one because I’m a Florida attorney. I’m barred in the state of Florida, but because of this I actually practice in central Florida, I know all the players, and I specialize in special district law, which specifically dealt with these special districts like Celebration, Bonnet Creek, Reunion, all those districts around Reedy Creek.”
He added, “I also walked across the table from Reedy Creek when I was there. So I know all about special district law, local government law, and what’s going on in the administrative side in Florida. And particularly I know how they did things wrong, Reedy Creek did things wrong and how that really hurts them in their state court battle and in their federal lawsuit.”
Later in the video he shared his predictions that the state of Florida will get “giant wins” on both the state level and the federal level.
“It appears that in both of these cases that we may have giant wins for the state of Florida, for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and for Ron DeSantis,” Esquire said.
He then explained, “For Disney, the nightmare scenario, the worst possible scenario, which is a likely scenario, I don’t want to give exact probabilities, but it’s something that could very much probabilistically happen is the federal case gets entirely dismissed. It gets entirely thrown out. There’s multiple reasons. The reason cited, one of the main reasons which I have said from the beginning on this which is Disney does not truly have standing. They do not meet the elements for standing. Standing means the ability to bring a claim to court.”
Esquire elaborated, “This is exactly the reason that the citizens who actually sued the state of Florida for these legislative changes way back earlier this year, they were thrown out for standing. Disney also can be thrown out for much similar grounds.”
“So they’re very likely to be tossed out if not entirely almost all of the counts,” he shared. “So perhaps four of the counts might get tossed. You might have one remaining count there in federal court.”
As for the state case, he said, “But the worst thing, even further, is the state case. So Disney wants to dismiss that. If that’s allowed to proceed we’re going to start getting discovery and this is going to be a nightmare. We are talking about internal Disney files, sources, emails, text messages that show their knowledge, their duplicitousness, the fact that they were trying to pass things in the last minute in the 11th hour, and trying to make it a look a certain way for the media.
“That would be a nightmare if that information comes out because you better believe it is going to be publicized and talked about by the DeSantis team and by Florida. It is not going to look good for Disney,” Equire asserted.
As for what he believes the discovery will reveal, he elaborated, “I think what it’ll reveal is that this was all done for PR purposes, for a certain angle to be presented without consideration of the actual law.”
“I, frankly, don’t think that Disney either cares or they might even willfully kind of know the law, right, and be willfully ignoring,” he continued. “We know the law, but we’re going to choose to ignore it because from a PR standpoint if we make this about the ‘First Amendment’ we’re going to get people on our side. We’re going to galvanize people. And we even saw that this worked for a moment with even folks on the left and on the right. It actually kind of galvanized people for one second, but as soon as those guys tuned in they found out the truth, they quickly got in line.”
Esquire would later point out how costly this legal battle with the state of Florida is, “They provoked Florida at a time when they need to cut costs, when they needed to save money, they are now spending money in a fruitless legal battle that is going to get them nowhere, that they are never going to win against the state of Florida.”
“And because of that, I think they’ve ultimately shot themselves in the foot,” he continued. “This is a time which we know they’ve got to scrounge up billions of dollars for the Comcast deal to buy Hulu because of that because they’ve got to get that money right now, I think this is the worst possible time to be engaged in this battle, which is why they are trying to bury their losses. Their stock price has already taken enough of a hit without realizing that they’re the ones in the wrong legally, they’re the ones that are messing up, they’re the ones that are at fault.”
What do you make of Esquire’s analysis and his predictions that the state of Florida will get “giant wins” against The Walt Disney Company?