Allen Winsor, 46, has been a US District Judge in the Northern District of Florida since 2019.
He's now overseeing the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
Winsor previously dismissed a lawsuit challenging Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act.
US District Judge Allen Winsor is now presiding over Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, and it could be a good sign for the governor.
The previous federal judge assigned to the case, Mark Walker, recused himself from the case because "a relative within the third degree" held 30 shares of The Walt Disney Co. stock, Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported last week.
On Friday, Winsor set the schedule for the Disney-DeSantis case, setting deadlines to submit and reply to motions by July and August, respectively.
Winsor, 46, has been a judge in the Northern District of Florida since 2019.
The US Senate used the so-called nuclear option to approve his appointment after then-President Donald Trump nominated him. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the lone Democrat in the 54-44 vote to confirm Winsor, according to BallotPedia.
Before he became a US district judge, Winsor was a judge in Florida's First District Court of Appeal from 2016-2019. He was Florida's solicitor general and worked in private practice before that.
He graduated from Auburn University in 1997 and got his law degree from the University of Florida in 2002.
Winsor was born in Orlando in September 1976.
Winsor previously dismissed a lawsuit challenging the 'Don't Say Gay' bill
In February 2023, Winsor issued a 21-page ruling dismissing a lawsuit challenging Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act, which opponents called the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Winsor particularly took issue that the plaintiffs in the suit — who were parents, students, and teachers — didn't allege harm or seek monetary damage, he wrote in his ruling.
"Plaintiffs have shown a strident disagreement with the new law, and they have alleged facts to show its very existence causes them deep hurt and disappointment," Winsor wrote. "But to invoke a federal court's jurisdiction, they must allege more. Their failure to do so requires dismissal."
He went through several examples where the plaintiffs said they were deprived of free speech or discriminated against because of the law, and cited specific details contending they weren't, legally speaking.
"It does not matter that removing a library book, changing curriculum, or denying access to extracurricular activities could constitute a cognizable injury," Winsor wrote. "What matters is whether Plaintiffs have alleged that they themselves suffered a cognizable injury traceable to the Provision's enforcement and redressable by an injunction against it. They have not."
A human rights group accused Winsor of being a 'conservative ideologue'
He moderated a panel for the group in 2017 titled, "Combating Federal Overreach." It was held at Disney's BoardWalk Inn at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
In the hour-and-a-half-long conversation, four state solicitors general discussed various federal laws and lawsuits that they felt impeded states' rights. Winsor seemed to know the attendees and made jokes to laughter from the audience.
When Trump nominated Winsor to the US district court in 2018, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter opposing it.
"Mr. Winsor is a young, conservative ideologue who has attempted to restrict voting rights, LGBT equality, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, criminal defendants' rights, and gun safety," the letter read. "He does not possess the neutrality and fair-mindedness necessary to serve in a lifetime position as a federal judge."
When he was Florida's solicitor general from 2013-2016, he argued and monitored cases defending state laws that didn't allow gay marriage. In an interview with the Associated Press in 2014, Winsor defended then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's argument that recognizing gay marriage in the state would be harmful.
"Florida's voters approved a constitutional amendment, which is being challenged, and it is the attorney general's duty to defend Florida law," Winsor told the AP, adding: "Florida is harmed whenever a federal court enjoins enforcement of its laws, including the laws at issue here."
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