In 2013, San Jose, California filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, claiming violations of anti-trust laws. Specifically, MLB has refused to allow the Oakland Athletics baseball team to move to San Jose, as it asserts that the city falls within the geographic territory of the San Francisco Giants. On Wednesday, MLB asked the United States Supreme Court to uphold decades-old precedent exempting baseball from antitrust laws.
The Ninth Circuit based its ruling on a ruling by the Supreme Court itself from 1922 which exempted baseball from antitrust laws that San Jose claims the MLB is in violation of. The MLB argues that courts have consistently held that antitrust regulation of baseball must come from Congress, not the court. San Jose argues that the exemption is both obsolete and inapplicable to modern day baseball business.
MLB also claims that based on a separate action, the baseball team could not move to San Jose anyway. In that action, a Superior Court Judge ruled that San Jose violated local laws when it entered into an agreement with the team to possibly sell city land for a downtown baseball park without first getting voter approval. That action was brought by a citizens group.