Click to read the order for the administrative
stay, thus putting the lockout back on.
The lockout is back on in the NFL, possibly for a short period, but also for much longer as 2 of 3 judges on a panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted an “administrative stay” of lower court ruling, thus putting the lifted lockout back in play.
The stay is a temporary one designed to allow the NFL and the players to give the court “long filings” – responses as to why there should, or should not, be a stay of Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling striking down the lockout as causing “irreparable harm” to the players. The order reads in part, “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.”
(READ THE 4 PAGE ORDER IN PDF)
The panel, which is comprised of two republican appointees and one democrat, saw Judge Kermit Bye, a George W. Bush appointee, as the lone dissenting vote.
Bye said in his dissenting opinion, “I am unaware of a general practice in this circuit of resolving requests for stays pending appeal in non-emergency situations in a two-step process (entertaining a request for a temporary administrative stay until we can hear from both sides, followed by a grant or denial of the request for a stay itself),” Bye said. “In a criminal case, for example, we do not grant a temporary administrative request for release pending appeal while we wait for the government to respond to the defendant's request for release pending appeal.”
The NFL has claimed that not having the lockout lifted would harm them until the appeal on Judge Nelson’s ruling is fully heard. That implementing trades and free agency, only have to the lockout put back in place by a possible ruling by the Eighth would be so chaotic as trying to “unscramble the eggs.” In his dissenting opinion against the administrative stay, Judge Bye did not agree.
“Finally, to justify the granting of the stay itself, the NFL must show it will suffer some irreparable harm by allowing the district court's order to take effect. By necessary extension, I believe some showing of irreparable harm must also be shown to justify the entry of a temporary stay pending review of the motion for a stay. Based on the materials which have been filed in this case up to this point, the NFL has failed to satisfy me it will suffer any irreparable harm from allowing the district court's order to take effect.”
It is expected that the Eighth will rule on a lengthy stay until the case is fully heard by the court – the second part of what Judge Bye referenced as the “two-step process” – this coming week.
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