Disney Uses Court Ruling in Andrew Warren Case to Boost Lawsuit Against Governor Ron DeSantis

Tampa, Florida – Disney’s legal team has filed a copy of a recent court decision in support of their ongoing lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The court ruling, issued by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, is seen as a victory for Andrew Warren, an ousted Tampa prosecutor fighting to get his job back.

Both Warren and Disney argue that they were targeted by DeSantis due to their political positions. Warren was suspended by DeSantis in August 2022 after signing statements opposing efforts to criminalize abortion and gender-transition treatments for children.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle previously ruled that DeSantis’ suspension of Warren violated his First Amendment rights. However, Judge Hinkle stated that he did not have the authority to reinstate Warren. The recent ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, disagreed with this assessment, stating that the judge indeed had the power to return Warren to office.

Disney’s legal team is citing the same First Amendment protections in their lawsuit against DeSantis and state officials. The company alleges that DeSantis targeted them due to their opposition to the “don’t say gay” law, which limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, DeSantis and his allies replaced Disney loyalists on a special government services board with GOP supporters.

Both sides presented arguments last month to U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor. DeSantis’ lawyers argued that the governor and the Legislature had the legal authority to retool the special district, while Disney’s lawyers claimed that their actions were retaliatory and violated protected speech.

A spokesperson for DeSantis expressed concern over the precedent set by the Warren case, warning that it could allow progressive prosecutors to disregard laws they disagree with.

This legal battle is not unique to Warren and Disney. Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell is also fighting to regain her position, with advocates arguing that DeSantis suspended her for political reasons. The cases of Warren, Disney, and Worrell highlight the ongoing tension between conservative policies and progressive voices fighting for their rights.

In conclusion, the recent court ruling in favor of Andrew Warren in his bid to return to office has bolstered Disney’s lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis. Both Warren and Disney allege that DeSantis targeted them based on their political positions, a claim supported by the court’s acknowledgment of First Amendment violations. The legal battle between these parties exemplifies the broader struggle between conservative policies and the freedom of expression enjoyed by progressive voices.