Grow: San Jose strikes out at U.S. Supreme Court

From SABR member Nathaniel Grow at FanGraphs on October 5, 2015:

When the city of San Jose, California sued Major League Baseball back in the summer of 2013, the city’s attorneys likely anticipated that they would eventually have to litigate the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to prevail in the suit. Indeed, because San Jose alleged that MLB’s refusal to allow the Oakland Athletics to move to the city – territory assigned to the San Francisco Giants under the league constitution – violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the city was directly challenging MLB’s infamous antitrust exemption. And because it was the Supreme Court that originally created the exemption nearly 100 years ago, that court is the only judicial body that has the power to modify baseball’s antitrust immunity today.

Given all that, it was not particularly surprising that San Jose quickly lost at both the trial and appellate court levels, with both courts basing their dismissals of the city’s lawsuit on the sport’s antitrust exemption. Nor was it surprising to learn in April that San Jose was officially appealing the suit to the Supreme Court.

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Originally published: October 7, 2015. Last Updated: October 7, 2015.