Sign up today for an exclusive discount along with our 30-day GUARANTEE — Love us or leave, with your money back! Click here to become a part of our growing community and learn how to stop gambling with your investments. We will teach you to BE THE HOUSE — Not the Gambler!

Click here to see some testimonials from our members!

Delta v. Georgia?

 

Is Georgia's legislature's retaliatory action against Delta for discontinuing its relationship with the NRA constitutional? I would argue, no, even though Delta did not yet have the tax break, because the link – a direct connection - is expressly stated by Casey Cagle. ~ Ilene

Casey Cagle's tweet on Delta, the NRA and tax breaks. Is it legal?

Two days later, a state Senate committee stripped out the jet fuel perk from the broad tax bill. On March 1, the Senate passed a tax bill — without the jet fuel tax break — along a 44-10 vote. The House and Senate now have to agree on a final bill before it is sent to the governor.

Cagle’s statement was a promise of future action and political stance, so we are not rating it on the Truth-O-Meter. But we wanted to look into it after seeing  chatter wondering if it would be legal for Cagle to follow up on his threat.

Experts told PolitiFact Georgia that there’s room to argue it could become a First Amendment violation, but the fact that Delta did not already have the tax break makes the situation more nuanced.

Michael J. Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, pointed to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission that said corporations also have First Amendment rights.

"Generally, the government may not punish anyone, much less a single company, for expressing itself (or trying to control the expression of its values)," Gerhardt said. "If Georgia punishes the airline for expression Georgia does not like, that is a First Amendment violation."

Additionally, Gerhardt said it seems Georgia is "trying to force or compel Delta to engage in an expressive association that Delta does not want to have."

Whether Delta would have a strong legal case against Georgia is questionable, since it didn’t have the tax exemption to begin with.
 
Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, noted circumstances within and out of legal bounds.
 
"Retaliating against a company based on its speech may be unconstitutional," Volokh said. "But retaliating based on the company’s commercial conduct, such as the termination of a discount, is constitutional."

Delta would have to distinguish free speech rights from commercial conduct, but in this case, I think the difference is clear as the issue has always been about Delta's right to disassociate itself from the NRA based on its values. 

Delta Reveals Only 13 Passengers Used NRA Discount Which Cost Airline $40 Million Tax Break

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Delta Air Lines is paying a hefty price for jumping on the gun control bandwagon in the wake of the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, FL. After eliminating a discount for NRA members, the Georgia state legislature responded by eliminating a $40 million discount on jet-fuel which had been part of a larger tax package. 

Delta admitted, however, that only 13 people had taken the airline up on the NRA discount - which translates to roughly $3 million per discount in tax breaks. While one can imagine Delta looked at the low participation rate and felt the discount was an expendable token to jump on the anti-gun bandwagon, they probably didn't see the Georgia legislature coming:

I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.

— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018

Georgia GOP lawmakers signed into law a broad tax bill which had been amended to kill a proposed break on jet fuel, signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal – despite objecting to the Delta fight as an "unbecoming squabble." 

In response, Delta CEO Ed Bastian sent out a memo to employees that insisted the airline's aim is to stay neutral in the gun debate. 

"While Delta's intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course," Bastian said. "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale."

Got an email from @delta earlier with their statement about losing their tax break over cutting off the NRA discounts pic.twitter.com/Wm3TCnZt3t

— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) March 2, 2018

Delta will also review discounts offered to other politically involved groups. "We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature," Bastian said.

Delta is one of Georgia's largest private employers – a state in which 31.6% of residents own firearms.

The NRA and Georgia GOP legislators argued that Delta's elimination of the NRA discount amounted to a punishment for people who cherish the Second Amendment. 

The Georgia Senate passed the tax measure 44-10 after the jet-fuel provision was removed, while the House followed with a 135-24 vote. 

Actually as Managing officers of a publicly traded company, they have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much profit as possible for their investors….I'd fire & sue them for mismanagement of @Delta @DeltaNewsHub pic.twitter.com/in8bQtucXN

— Zoo9guy ? (@Zoo9guy) March 2, 2018

So DL decides to vacuously virtue-signal.

Expected consequence – they pissed off half their customers

Unexpected consequence – they pissed off some key legislators that represent some of those pissed-off customers

C'est la vie

— Tony Camatto (@tonycamatto) March 2, 2018

pic.twitter.com/Zzzta6iRxv

— tracyish (@kteb_2001) March 2, 2018


Do you know someone who would benefit from this information? We can send your friend a strictly confidential, one-time email telling them about this information. Your privacy and your friend's privacy is your business... no spam! Click here and tell a friend!





You must be logged in to make a comment.
You can sign up for a membership or get a FREE Daily News membership or log in

Sign up today for an exclusive discount along with our 30-day GUARANTEE — Love us or leave, with your money back! Click here to become a part of our growing community and learn how to stop gambling with your investments. We will teach you to BE THE HOUSE — Not the Gambler!

Click here to see some testimonials from our members!