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Monday, May 23, 2016
 
The Notorious RBG & Tom Brady

If you're a fan of the New England Patriots, or believe the NFL has expanded the power of the commissioner's office illegally, you have yet another reason to believe in the wisdom of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Tom Brady's appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court (filed today) requires 7 of the 13 judges to conclude the case requires further scrutiny. If they do authorize an en banc hearing, 8 out of 14 judges will need convincing the decision was extraordinary, with wide-ranging implications for parties other than Brady and the NFLPA.

While the 2nd Circuit typically respects three-judge panel decisions, because the lone dissent vote was cast by Robert Katzmann, the chief justice of the entire 2nd Circuit, there appears to be a greater chance than usual to grant an en banc hearing. A decision on an en banc hearing should be released by July 4th. If granted, Brady's suspension will be stayed until a final ruling. If denied, he and the NFLPA have a right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Brady and his legal team would likely ask the 2nd Circuit for a stay (suspension of his punishment) until the Supreme Court decides on whether or not to hear the case. The Supreme Court's decision will rest on whether there are critical labor law issues, impacting parties well beyond football, needing a clear resolution. The 2nd Circuit has the right to reject that appeal, reinstating the four-game suspension for this season. Finally, as one last Hail Mary, Brady could ask the Supreme Court for a stay until they decide whether to hear the case.

If the 2nd Circuit denies a stay request, there is one final person who determines IF Brady's receives a stay while the Supreme Court decides? The Supreme Court justice assigned to the 2nd Circuit, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And what does the Notorious RBG think of dissenting opinions?

"Dissents speak to a future age. It's not simply to say, 'my colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way,' but the greatest dissents do become court opinions." ~ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.





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