The lawsuit filed over the relocation of the MLB All-Star Game had various clear problems. Those problems were clear enough to result in a swift dismissal of the lawsuit.
On Thursday, a federal judge issued a ruling from the bench that the Job Creators Network had no cause to sue Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association over the decision to move the game from Atlanta to Denver, following the passage of a controversial voting-rights law. The lack of legal standing to sue and the inability to prove a case against baseball and its union brought down the litigation before it could even get started.
“To say that the legal underpinnings of this lawsuit are weak and muddled is an understatement,” Judge Valerie Caproni said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Plaintiff alleges that [MLB and the MLBPA] were members of a conspiracy to violate JCN members’ constitutional rights . . . but I am still at a loss to understand how.”
The lawsuit sought $100 million in compensatory damages, $1 billion in punitive damages, and an order forcing the game to be moved back to Atlanta.
On Friday, the Job Creators Network issued a pun-filled press release that will do little to alter the perception that the lawsuit is about publicity and politics, not truth and justice.
“The judge’s disappointing ruling is just one strike against us, and we are still up to bat, looking to appeal our case to the Second Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court,” the group’s president and CEO Alfredo Ortiz, said in the statement. “To be clear, JCN lost on standing; MLB did not win on the merits. By demonstrating clear harm to our members and us as an organization, we believe that the judge erred in her decision, and we do have standing. Yet the muddled debate over standing shouldn’t obscure this case’s merits, which are in our favor. The Job Creators Network filed this lawsuit to right a wrong committed by Major League Baseball that cost Atlanta small businesses $100 million at a time they need it most. The MLB didn’t win on this point. . . . JCN is still at the plate in this case. And when it comes to fighting for small businesses, we will always swing for the fences.”
It’s rare for a judge to dismiss a case via a ruling from the bench. It happens only when the correct outcome is clear. In this case, she thought it was. The outcome serves only to bolster the notion that JCN is pursuing the matter for reasons that have nothing to do with legal rights and everything to do with political talking points.