With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denying Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s request for a rehearing, his only recourse at this point is to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
While Brady’s camp hasn’t said with clarity whether an appeal will be filed, attorney Ted Olson strongly hinted that Brady would take the case to the highest court in the land during a May 24 visit to PFT Live.
“We’ve decided that we’re not going to decide things until it’s necessary to decide them,” Olson said at the time. “So we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. . . . The Supreme Court is a definite possibility and we are all very, very much committed to seeing that Tom Brady gets the justice which he is owed in this case, whatever it takes.”
Seeking justice will include seeking a stay of the suspension from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the member of the U.S. Supreme Court designated to handle cases arising from the Second Circuit. If an appeal is filed, she’ll inevitably be asked to maintain the status quo until the Supreme Court decides whether to take up the case. (The Supreme Court agrees to take only a very small fraction of the cases presented to it.)
Here’s where it gets very interesting — and potential very political. Ordinarily, Justice Ginsburg’s ideology and philosophies ordinarily would make her more likely than not to grant the stay. In this case, however, there’s a potential complication. His name is Donald Trump.
Brady has made no bones about his friendship with Trump. And Justice Ginsburg has made no bones about her disdain for Trump.
“He is a faker,” Justice Ginsburg said earlier this week about Trump. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
Said Brady in December: “Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine.”
To complete the loop, here’s what Brady’s “good friend” said about Ginsburg early Wednesday morning on (where else?) Twitter: “Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot — resign!”
Should any of that matter to whether Justice Ginsburg grants a stay? No. Do issues like that sometimes creep into the matters pending in federal appeals courts presided over by judges who wouldn’t have gotten those jobs in the first place if they weren’t adept at playing political games during their careers?
I think the question answers itself.