MLB took its All-Star game out of Georgia to protest voting laws. Now Ted Cruz wants to strip it of its anti-trust immunity.

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WASHINGTON

The clock tower at Coors Field before the Opening Day game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. April 1, 2021. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday called for the removal of Major League Baseball’s immunity from anti-trust laws in response to the league’s decision to pull the 2021 All Star Game from Atlanta over Georgia’s new voting restrictions.

“If they’re gonna play partisan enforcer, they shouldn’t expect to see special goodies from Washington when they are dishonestly acting to favor one party against the other,” Cruz told reporters in a news conference alongside fellow Republican U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Lee of Utah.

In late March, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that shrinks the window for voters to request absentee ballots, imposes new voter ID requirements and bans the handing out of water and food to people waiting in line to vote. Cruz pointed out in his Tuesday remarks that the Georgia bill expands early voting times.

MLB's anti-trust exemption reduces the possibility of a competing league from emerging and threatening its status as the preeminent professional baseball league. MLB is unique compared to its peers in other sports in that it benefits from a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that treats the league as a sport and not a business.

“Major League Baseball has had an exemption from the anti-trust laws for nearly 100 years,” Cruz said. “It was made up by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“The NFL doesn’t have that exception. The NBA doesn’t have that exception,” he added. “Somehow those sports leagues manage to do just fine, but baseball gets this very special carve-out of corporate welfare from Washington. They don’t have to play by the same rules everybody else does.”