Judge rejects conservative attempt to force MLB to move All-Star Game back to Atlanta

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·3 min read

Major League Baseball will not be forced to move its All-Star Game back to Atlanta after a federal judge denied an injunction request to make them do so, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni reportedly made her decision from the bench after a two-hour hearing involving MLB, the MLB Players Association and the Job Creators Network, which filed its lawsuit at the end of May

The lawsuit alleged that MLB had "robbed the small businesses of Atlanta — many of them minority-owned — of $100 million" and demanded the All-Star Game take place in Atlanta on July 13. The JCN, founded by Home Depot co-founder and prominent Donald Trump supporter Bernie Marcus, also sought $1 billion in punitive damages. Both MLB and the MLBPA have denounced the suit as "political theatrics" and frivolous."

MLB had originally scheduled the All-Star Game to take place in Atlanta, but moved it earlier this year in response to Georgia's voter-restriction law. The league was one of many large businesses to denounce the law.

Judge: 'Weak and muddled is an understatement'

Caproni reportedly ruled that the JCN "lacks standing" to make such an injunction and "failed to demonstrate that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction." Then she really went to town on the JCN's arguments:

“To say that the legal underpinnings of this lawsuit are weak and muddled is an understatement,” the judge said. “Plaintiff alleges that (MLB and the players’ union) were members of a conspiracy to violate JCN members’ constitutional rights … but I am still at a loss to understand how.”

Caproni added: “MLB voted with its feet when politicians in Georgia made a policy decision with which (MLB) strongly disagreed. For all this court knows, many of the small business owners in the Atlanta area agree with MLB that the policy decisions reflected in the new Georgia election law are poor policy choices. But whether small business owners as a group agree or disagree, are deeply divided or are agnostic on that issue, it is hard to see how MLB’s decision had an impact on the equal protection rights of small business owners as a group.”

If that sounds like a harsher treatment than you'd expect from a federal judge, just wait until you hear how the actual hearing went.

Representing the JCN was attorney Howard Kleinhendler, who was among the attorneys to aid former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Here is a limited selection of things Caproni had to say in response to Kleinhendler's arguments, via Twitter:

Despite its loss on Thursday, the JCN's lawsuit against MLB remains alive — the hearing was only regarding the group's request that MLB be forced to move the game back to Atlanta. If the JCN wants to continue the lawsuit seeking its monetary damages, Caproni reportedly scheduled a pre-trial conference in July.

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