How Did the NFL's Labor Dispute End Up Before the Most Republican Court in the Country?
AFJ Provides Backgrounder Ahead of Arguments in Brady v. NFL
Press ContactKevin Fry email@example.com
Washington, D.C., June 2, 2011–As a service to those writing about the upcoming arguments in the case of Brady v. NFL, being heard in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, June 3, below is a background report that answers the question of how this case, brought by the players’ union, ended up in the circuit with the highest percentage of Republican, management-friendly judges in the country.
Brady v. NFL is a class action lawsuit against the National Football League and each of its thirty-two franchises, filed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as lead plaintiff and joined by eight current players and one recently drafted, prospective player. The plaintiffs are seeking to end the owner-imposed lockout, which would allow the players and league employees to go back to work while bargaining continues for a new labor agreement. The players hope to prove that the owners are acting in violation of anti-trust law and that an ongoing lockout would cause irreparable harm to the players and harm the public interest.
In sports, and in court, every party seeks an advantage. Despite U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ suggestion that judges are like umpires calling balls and strikes, most observers believe that the judges who decide cases can make a major difference in the outcome. Thus plaintiffs, if they have an opportunity to choose where to file suit, will often seek courts that are more likely to be receptive to their arguments.
This report is published on the Justice Watch blog:
Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C. Additional information can be found at www.afj.org.