Saturday September 30, 2023

Other States Could Follow New Jersey’s Anti-LIV Bill

  • Sen. Richard Codey says he's heard other states could be considering similar legislation.
  • Codey said he expects the bill to get through legislature, signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.
Liv Golf
Jonathan Jones/USA TODAY Sports
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The co-sponsor of the New Jersey bill that would effectively ban another LIV Golf event in the state has heard rumblings that other states could follow with similar legislation.

“It’s great to be a trailblazer,” quipped state senator and former New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey. 

Codey and fellow Democratic Sen. Andrew Zwicker first introduced a bill in August that would ban a professional sport organization primarily backed by a sovereign wealth fund from hosting an event in New Jersey.

Codey told Front Office Sports he expects the bill to be passed on a floor vote and signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy by year’s end. 

Meanwhile, Zwicker said “started to reach to other states” about similar legislation, although he said the New Jersey legislation remains the only LIV Golf-related bill so far.

“They are the blue states, where, obviously, it would be easier to get a very similar [bill] done,” he said.

But there could legal roadblocks ahead if the bill is signed into law.

The Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government — not the states — the power to limit foreign commerce. Federal courts have consistently upheld that limitations on foreign entities created by states are unconstitutional.

The second U.S. stop of Saudi-backed LIV Golf’s inaugural season was at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. 

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Codey said the feedback since the bill was first introduced in August has been “98% positive.” Zwicker said there has been pushback from his Republican colleagues over concerns that it’s targeting the course owned by former President Donald Trump.

“I want this ban regardless of who owns the golf course,” Zwicker said. “The ban is because of human rights atrocities in Saudi Arabia, not because this was specific course is owned by the former of president.”

Codey said his office hasn’t heard from anyone at the Trump Organization about the bill. That includes Trump, whom Codey dealt with regularly when he was in the state assembly in the 1970s. 

“Part of it is probably because nobody showed up,” Codey said of the July event at Bedminster.

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