A group of Republican senators on Tuesday unveiled a bill intended to punish Major League Baseball for moving its All-Star game out of Georgia in response to the state’s new voting restrictions, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley introduced the bill at a press conference, hitting out at what they described as a “woke” corporation.
"This past month we have seen the rise of the 'woke' corporation," Cruz said. "These woke corporations have decided to become the political enforcer for Democrats in Washington."
“They shouldn’t expect to see special goodies from Washington when they are dishonestly acting to favor one party against the other,” he added, accusing the company of “spreading disinformation” about the law that Republicans claim would expand voting though it includes more than a dozen restrictions that would make it harder to vote.
Hawley compares MLB to railroad barons:
Hawley argued that stripping the MLB of its antitrust exemption, which dates back to a 1922 Supreme Court decision, was critical to prevent corporations from trying to “amass” political power.
"This is about preserving the ability of the democratic process to go forward," he said. "The fact that Major League Baseball would get together and punish a state because the elected representatives of that state and the elected governor of that state signed a law to preserve election integrity is unbelievable."
He added that the MLB and other corporations criticizing voter restrictions are doing "exactly what the railroad barons tried to do a century ago."
Bill not going anywhere:
The bill is not expected to move very far in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
It’s not the first time senators have tried to repeal the exemption, which is based on a dubious legal argument that the MLB does not engage in interstate commerce because each game is played in individual cities.
Bernie Sanders most recently threatened to take up the MLB’s exemption after the league eliminated dozens of minor league baseball teams.