In Sullivan & Cromwell’s latest win for Major League Baseball, the Firm persuaded a federal judge to reject an emergency motion by an advocacy group seeking a preliminary injunction to force MLB to move the All Star Game back to Atlanta. Following that ruling, on June 21 the plaintiff withdrew its complaint.
During a two-hour hearing on June 10 in which S&C’s John Hardiman argued for MLB, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York agreed that the plaintiff Job Creators Network did not have standing to pursue its claim that MLB and its players union conspired to deprive Atlanta businesses of least $100 million in income and their constitutional rights when it moved the game to Denver to protest Georgia’s new voting laws. The judge also rejected the plaintiff’s claim that MLB violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 by trying to intimidate state lawmakers into repealing the laws.
In her ruling from the bench, Judge Caproni held that Job Creators Network lacked standing to seek injunctive relief, finding that it had failed to demonstrate that it or its members would be irreparably harmed if the All-Star Game was held in Denver. While Judge Caproni did not need to reach the issue of whether Job Creators Network was likely to succeed on the merits, she noted that “to say that the legal underpinnings of this lawsuit are weak and muddled is an understatement.”
In addition to John Hardiman, the S&C team included Steven Holley, Benjamin Walker and Samantha Hynes.
Previously, in April 2020, S&C helped MLB win the dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit filed in the wake of the sign-stealing issues relating to the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox. The plaintiffs were individuals who played fantasy baseball hosted by DraftKings Inc. and claimed that MLB concealed the sign stealing to induce them and other DraftKings players to play MLB-sponsored contests.