U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have filed legislation to punish Major League Baseball after the organization representing America's favorite pastime pulled the All-Star Game out of Georgia in response to Governor Brian Kemp signing a highly-destructive anti-democratic voter suppression law.
"This past month, we have seen the rise of the woke corporation. We have seen the rise of big business enforcing a woke standard," Cruz told reporters, as NBC News reports. "That decision was harmful. It's going to hurt baseball. But it also underscores that there's no reason Major League Baseball should enjoy special subsidies — corporate welfare that no one else gets."
While MLB does benefit from a 99-year old Supreme Court ruling that protects the organization from competition, the three attorneys should know their legislation is unconstitutional for two reasons.
First, pulling the All-Star Game out of Georgia is free speech protected by the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech..."
Second, when the government targets a specific individual or entity for punishment or retribution, especially without a trial, that's illegal, and it's called a bill of attainder.
Vox's Ian Millhiser, a legal expert who has written several books on the U.S. Supreme Court, weighed in when Duncan made his threat:
Ah yes, a bill of attainder AND a First Amendment violation. Very nice. https://t.co/78MtwoEXKD
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) April 2, 2021