NEW YORK – A Manhattan judge on Thursday rejected an attempt to force Major League Baseball to return to Atlanta next month’s All-Star Game.
U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Carponi has spoken out against a non-profit organization representing small and medium-sized businesses, saying the lawsuit did not provide evidence that its members were injured by the decision to move the game.
A lawsuit filed on May 31 claimed that Major League Baseball had acted unconstitutionally when it moved the game from Atlanta Braves Stadium to Denver after the Georgian Republicans enacted a new restrictive voting law.
According to the lawsuit, companies in the Atlanta metro area would lose a $ 100 million business because there would be no star game.
The rewriting of Georgia’s electoral rules followed repeated unsubstantiated allegations by former President Donald Trump of fraud following his presidential loss with President Joe Biden.
Biden declared Georgian law “un-American” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he had decided to move the All-Star events after discussions with individual players and the Players ‘Alliance, a black players’ organization that emerged after George Floyd’s death last year.
Prior to the decision, Croni verbally fought for more than an hour with lawyer Howard Kleinhendler, making it clear that she thought there were no grounds for a lawsuit and that his organization had no opportunity to sue. After a short break, Croni made these findings from the bench.
The lawsuit sought damages of $ 100 million and repressive damages of $ 1 billion. The lawyer said he represented the Washington Job Creators Network, which is described in the lawsuit as a non-partisan organization supporting more than 30 million businesses across the country, including more than 10,000 businesses in Georgia.
He said his client supported a new electoral law in Georgia.
At one point, Croni said, “This case is not about whether Georgian law is good or bad.”
After Croni made it clear during Kleinhendler’s interrogation that she would decide the lawsuit, Major League Baseball and MLB Player Association lawyers kept their arguments brief.
In its decision, Croni said it had doubts as to whether Atlantic companies could suffer nearly $ 100 million in damage. She said the plaintiff further undermined his case by suggesting that Major League Baseball could repair the damage by setting up a $ 100 million rescue fund for injured businesses.
As she noted, such a fund would make it difficult to argue that the damage would be irreparable.