Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued his months-long temper tantrum earlier this week at a bizarre press conference where he fantasized about building a prison next to the entrance of Disney World. To protect the children, of course.
The trouble started more than a year ago when Bob Chapek, then CEO of the Walt Disney Company, offered tepid criticism of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law, which bans acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ people in Florida schools. DeSantis vowed revenge, and the state’s supine legislature passed a law dethroning the board of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, special tax district created in 1967 to allow Walt Disney to turn 25,000 acres of swampland in Orange and Osceola Counties into its own fiefdom and an economic engine of the state.
DeSantis stocked the new board with loyalists who vowed to bring the Mouse to heel, but Mickey had other ideas — and better lawyers. So at its last meeting, the outgoing board signed a declaration ceding most of its powers to the company in a hilarious document that enlisted the British royal family as the lives in being for the purposes of the Rule Against Perpetuities.
DeSantis vowed to unwind the deal, scoffing that he wasn’t about to be beaten by a “woke company based in California,” while his loyalists lobbed disgusting accusations of supporting pedophilia at the company who dared to speak up for LGBT kids. Then he sicced the state AG, its inspector general, and four separate law firms on Disney to figure out how to conquer the enchanted castle.
And the best they could come up with is … pretty funny. Here’s the latest amendment to the state’s Land Use and Development Regulations:
An independent special district is precluded from complying with the terms of any development agreement, and any other agreement for which the development agreement serves in whole or part as consideration, executed within 3 months preceding the effective date of a law modifying the manner of selecting members of the governing body of the independent special district from election to appointment or from appointment to election. The newly elected or appointed governing body of the independent special district shall review within 4 months of taking office any development agreement and any other agreement for which the development agreement serves in whole or part as consideration and, after such review, shall vote on whether to seek readoption of such agreement. This subsection shall apply to any development agreement that is in effect on, or is executed after, the effective date of this section.
That’s right, the party of capitalists is going to stick it to big business by retroactively empowering the governor’s appointees to void contracts they don’t like.
Hmmm. Is there something in the US Constitution about contracts? Something in, say, Article 1, Section 10 about 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.
Ah, well, maybe Tiny D can sneak into the park after closing time and stand on the stage in the Hall of Presidents. Because at this rate, that’s as close as he’s ever getting to the White House.