Friday, April 29, 2011

NFL GetsTemporary Stay; Lockout Restored

Late this afternoon, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL a stay of Judge Nelson's order that the lockout be lifted. So that means that the lockout is back on.

The Court granted the league's bid for a temporary stay of a judge's order lifting the lockout so arguments could be heard on whether that order should be overturned altogether.

"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the Court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for a stay pending appeal", the Court wrote.

So that means that this is a temporary stay, which means within a week or so the Court of Appeal will decide whether to impose a longer stay pending the Court's review of Judge Nelson decision to end the lockout.

With respect to the merits of the overall court case, history favours the players' position. However, as I noted on air on TSN Radio, 13 of the 16 judges assigned to this Court were nominated by Republican Presidents. Conventional wisdom suggests that these judges may be more likely to side with the owners.

In keeping with the constitution of the Appeals court, the decision to grant the stay was not unanimous. The vote was 2 judges to 1. The two judges who restored the lockout were appointed by a Republican President while the sole dissenting judge was appointed by a Democrat President: Kermit Bye (Clinton), Steven Colloton (George W.) and Duane Benton (George W.).

Still, don't forget this is a temporary stay and the Court may decide that a further stay is not appropriate.

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