Last week, Job Creators Network filed a complaint against Major League Baseball (MLB) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over the economic damage caused by the League's decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta because of a recent election law signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (SB 202). ABC news reported:
The complaint says the metro Atlanta area has suffered “staggering” financial losses from relocating the game, citing how more than 8,000 hotel reservations have been canceled. More than 41,000 MLB fans were expected to attend All-Star game events, it said.
Job Creators Network claims Atlanta businesses will lose $100 million if the game is not held in Atlanta and is requesting that amount in damages to local businesses as well as $1 billion in punitive damages.
The lawsuit names MLB, the MLB Players Association and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark as defendants in the 21-page complaint.
Job Creators Network President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said:
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs... This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law which includes Voter-ID. Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and at ballparks all across the country.”
On Monday, former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese and the American Constitutional Rights Union announced that they were filing an amicus brief in support of Job Creators Network.
SB 202’s provisions are fully consistent with voting rights. Heated controversies persist over how the 2020 election unfolded in Georgia. The Constitution permits States to enact reasonable regulatory measures in elections to ensure those elections are fair and free. Such measures are essential to public confidence in election results, and the Supreme Court has specifically upheld voter ID requirements as one such permissible measure. Defendants never delve into the specific provisions of SB 202 when announcing their opposition, nor explain how those provisions are anything other than commonplace election regulations. The Constitution affords States the latitude to choose effective measures to accomplish its important objective of conducting successful elections.
Indeed, statutory provisions such as those in SB 202 are vital to election integrity. Free and honest elections, where citizens can cast effectual ballots—are foundational to America’s constitutional government. Anything that dilutes or otherwise debases lawful ballots derogates that principle, and corrodes public confidence. Provisions in SB 202, including but not limited to voter ID, are measures designed to detect and prevent fraud or other election irregularities.
The brief continues:
It is especially unfortunate that opposition to SB 202 is being driven by Defendants, given that they are a for-profit business that has nothing to do with elections. Defendants are part of the sports entertainment industry, whose foremost concern should be the financial success of their business. Wading into this political and legal controversy—and taking the incorrect side of the legal dispute—does not advance that corporate mission. Not only does Defendants’ involvement here hurt their business, it also potentially violates their legal obligations to their stakeholders by dividing the business’s customer base. Moreover, it hurts the very community Defendants claim to be supporting: the majority-black population and business community of Atlanta.
RNLA will be holding its National Election Law Seminar in Atlanta on August 13-14. We hope you will join us in supporting the area's economy! Register here today.