The lawsuit filed by Howard Kleinhendler on behalf of the Job Creators Network to force Major League Baseball to keep the All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia is not going well. After a disastrous oral argument, a judge rejected JCN’s request for an injunction and poured cold water over the entire theory of the case.
JCN enlisted Kraken-lawyer Kleinhendler to file this suit after Major League Baseball decided to move the All-Star Game as a protest against the passage of a controversial election reform law in Georgia. There are ample bases upon which to criticize MLB’s decision, not least that the complaints about Georgia’s election reforms are overwrought, but the theory of the lawsuit is borderline ludicrous.
District Court Judge Valerie Caproni rejected JCN’s request for a preliminary injunction after what can only be called a cringeworthy oral argument. Judge Caproni concluded JCN lacked standing, but that was only the beginning of the problems. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s coverage of the proceedings:
“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 anything, the judge was gentle. To get a better picture of how bad the argument went, read these real-time threads by Mike Dunford and Akiva Cohen to believe it. (I will post a link to a transcript if one becomes available.) Indeed, Kleinhendler’s arguments were so bad and nonsensical that the opposing attorneys largely rested their case.
Judge Caproni allowed that JCN could continue to press for damages, but her ruling from the bench left little doubt how she would be likely to rule.
This outcome should not be particularly surprising. Kleinhendler filed numerous claims concerning the 2020 election, including some of the Kraken complaints filed by Sidney Powell (e.g., here and here) and a lawsuit by Rep. Gohmert against Vice President Pence. He has also been the subject of legal malpractice claims. Based upon yesterday’s performance, it would not surprise me to see more such claims in the future.