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LGBTQ Nation: Supreme Court hints that Ron DeSantis violated the Constitution in his war with Disney


A recent Supreme Court decision appears to be sending a message to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), alluding to the fact that he’s losing his legal battle with Disney.

In the recent decision for Moore v. Harper, the Supreme Court rejected the right-wing’s “independent state legislature theory,” which posits that the constitution grants state legislatures the sole power to make laws regulating federal elections, such as election rules and congressional maps.

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The judge called the law “vague and overbroad,” saying it could apply to burlesque shows or a skit at a family BBQ.

But in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court struck down that theory. The opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, declared that the Elections Clause “does not vest exclusive and independent authority in state legislatures to set the rules regarding federal elections” and “does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.”

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A different part of the opinion is where it gets interesting for DeSantis, who has been engaged in an unending quest for revenge against Disney since the company spoke out against Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law. Disney is now suing DeSantis for “a targeted campaign of government retaliation.”

One of DeSantis’s moves was to abolish Disney’s special tax district and create a five-member board to oversee government services in Disney’s district. Disney then pulled a fast one on DeSantis by sneaking in a last-minute development agreement with the former board allowing the company to maintain much of its autonomy and rendering the new board pretty much powerless. DeSantis and the legislature responded by passing a law voiding the contract, which caused a series of legal issues, in part due to the fact that the U.S Constitution bans state governments from voiding contracts.

And in the Moore v. Harper decision, the Supreme Court acknowledged that very prohibition. The decision explained that other areas of the Constitution – not just the Elections Clause – grant federal courts the authority to regulate the actions of state legislatures. The example Roberts chose to use: the Contracts Clause.

“A similar principle applies with respect to the Contracts Clause,” the opinion states, “which provides that ‘[n]o state shall… pass any… Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.’. ..In that context ‘we accord respectful consideration and great weight to the views of the State’s highest court.’”

As Above the Law senior editor Joe Patrice explained it, “That’s John Roberts letting the new judge — and failing that the Eleventh Circuit — know that Disney’s theory of the case may have been out of sight for a while, but it’s no longer out of mind.”

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