Supreme Court Again Refuses to Hear Case Involving Antitrust Exemption for MLB

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The U. S. Supreme Court will not be hearing the latest in a long-line of antitrust suits filed against Major League Baseball, as it was determined Monday that the city of San Jose’s petition for certiorari was denied.  The city had filed the petition in response to a dismissal on appeal in the Ninth Circuit earlier in January of this year.

The antitrust lawsuit came about in 2013 after San Jose had unsuccessfully attempted to relocate the Oakland Athletics an hour South along the Californian coastline.  At the time, the MLB was able to block any possible relocation to the city because the territory San Jose lands in has been determined to fall under that of the San Francisco Giants, who would obviously like to preserve as much of a “localized” fan base as possible.  Major League Baseball argued for dismissal of the suit under the protections established in the 1922 case Federal Baseball Club v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, where the Supreme Court originally carved out the antitrust exemption enjoyed by the MLB for nearly 100 years.

By failing to grant the city of San Jose’s petition, the court effectively renders the district court’s decision upholding dismissal of the lawsuit final, thwarting another attempt at overturning the antiquated exemption.  However, the court may soon have to deal with the issue again in the foreseeable future, as it continues to crop up throughout the federal judicial system.

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