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Copy of Flood v. Kuhn

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sarah williamson

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Flood v. Kuhn

Introduction At the end of the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded Curt Flood along with three other players to the Phillies for Dick Allen and two other players. This trade was different from all other trades before or since; this time one of the two principal stars, Curt Flood, refused to go. Not only did Flood refuse, but he chose to sue Major League Baseball. Historical Evidence How the case originated: Curt Flood refused to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1969 season. He saught injunctive relief from the reserve clause, which describes an enumerated power listed in the United States constitution, this prevented him from negotiating with another team for a year after his contract expired. Parties, facts, and issues: The parties would be the MLB players, owners, and agents. Some facts are that Curt Flood's original team was the St. Louis Cardinals and he was an outfielder. One of the issues that came in for criticism was the text of the decision itself, mainly a seven-page introductory encomium to the game and it's history, by Justice Harry Blackmun. This also included a lengthy listing of baseball greats. Other relevant cases: Federal Club v. National League
Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc. Arguments Petitioner: Curt Flood, a professional baseball player "traded" to another club without his previous knowledge or consent, brought this antitrust suit after being refused the right to make his own contract with another major league team, which is not permitted under the reserve system. Respondent: Bowie Kuhn denied the request of Flood, citing the propriety of the reserve clause. Results Holding (what the Supreme Court said): Professional baseball is in fact interstate commerce under the Sherman Antitrust Act, which is an act of congress (1890) prohibiting any contract, conspiracy, or combination of business interests in restraint of foreign or interstate trade, but congressional acquiescence in previous jurisprudence to the contrary make it the legislative branch's responsibility to end or modify antitrust exemption unique among professional sports. Holding (decision with reasoning): Majority opinion conceded that baseball was as much interstate commerce as the other professional sports to which the court had to extend the antitrust exemption. Majority: "Professional baseball is a business and engaged in interstate commerce" "Under these circumstances, there is merit in consistency even though some might claim that beneath that consistency is a layer of inconsistency."
5-3 Concurring: Chief Justice Burger had a concurring opinion, it was, "Courts are not the forum in which this tangles we ought to be unsnarled...It is time the congress acted to resolve this problem." Dissenting: Justice Douglas' opinion is that he thinks the court's decision is not good. He says that joining the court's opinion was a mistake. Justice Marshall's opinion was that baseball should not be covered by the antitrust laws beginning with this case. Impact What was added to or taken away: Major League Baseball and it's owners praised the decision, as did many of their supporters in the media. Some players criticized it. This decision is also remembered today as paving the way for free agency, which is a player who is eligible to sign with any club or franchise not under contract to any specific team, in baseball. Subsequent cases: United States v. Knight co.
United States v. Estate of Donnelly Conclusion In the end, the court ruled that Flood should have the right to be a free agent, and that free agency for players should be attained through collective bargaining. As, predicted, Flood never benefited from the revolution he helped begin. Annotated Bibliography:

Curt Flood Letter to Bowie Kuhn. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Curt_Flood_letter_to_Bowie_Kuhn.jpg>.primary source

"FLOOD v. KUHN." Flood v. Kuhn. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_71_32>.The oral argument is a primary source.

"Curt Flood Case Decided." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/curt-flood-case-decided>.secondary source, also contains primary sources

"FindLaw | Cases and Codes." FindLaw | Cases and Codes. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us>.secondary source

"Flood v. Kuhn." - BR Bullpen. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Flood_v._Kuhn>.secondary source

"Flood v. Kuhn (1972)." Flood v. Kuhn (1972). N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://mysite.verizon.net/bowenjohnf/fldvkuhG.htm>.secondary source

"How Curt Flood Changed Baseball and Killed His Career in the Process." The Atlantic. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/07/how-curt-flood-changed-baseball-and-killed-his-career-in-the-process/241783/>.secondary source

Sarah Williamson Flood v. Kuhn
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