Composition of three-judge panel in Elliott case possibly favors NFL


It’s good news for Ezekiel Elliott that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided to conduct a Thursday hearing for the next intermediate step of his litigation. The composition of the three-judge panel may be good news for the NFL.

The three judges assigned to the motion to stay the suspension are Dennis Jacobs, Debra Livingston, and Christopher Droney. Judge Jacobs was nominated to the position by President George H.W. Bush, Judge Livingston was nominated by President George W. Bush, and Judge Droney was nominated by President Barack Obama. Based on the loose, superficial analysis tracing to the political affiliations of the presidents who concluded that these judges will interpret and apply the law in a manner consistent with each president’s political wishes, a 2-1 outcome could be coming, in favor of the NFL.

That said, the party-line approach may not apply as strongly in this specific situation, because this isn’t a ruling on the merits of the case. Instead, it’s a ruling that flows from the basic question of whether NFL players should be allowed to wait to serve suspensions until their legal rights have been resolved.

That continues to be the most compelling aspect of the case, at this juncture. The NFL doesn’t suspend a player until his internal appeal rights are resolved; why suspend him before his external appeal rights are resolved? And why take action aimed at making his external appeal rights meaningless?

Thus. it would be easier, for now, for Judge Jacobs or Judge Livingston to ignore the pro-business ideals of the Republican party and rule in favor of Elliott, since basic fairness seems to favor letting him serve his suspension once he has a chance to pursue his rights fully and completely.

5 responses to “Composition of three-judge panel in Elliott case possibly favors NFL

  1. I just don’t understand how you can suspend a player for 6 games while he has an appeal of the suspension pending. What if he serves the suspension, and then wins the appeal? How do they give him back the 6 games he was forced to sit out? The answer: they can’t. It seems like common sense to let him play until the appeal process is complete, but the NFL and Goodell have never shown that they have much common sense.

  2. “The NFL doesn’t suspend a player until his internal appeal rights are resolved; why suspend him before his external appeal rights are resolved?”

    Because there is precedent that has been established that the player will ultimately serve the suspension because the NFLPA agreed to the CBA that gives that power to the NFL.

    Nothing else matters.

  3. Cue the “the players are to blame for signing the CBA” cronies. The players are to blame for one thing and one thing only … trusting this morally corrupt commissioner and not putting in the safe guards needed to ensure fundamental fairness in the player discipline process. They mistakenly trusted and falsely assumed the current buffoon would follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. Maybe the can negotiate what a catch is in the next CBA as well.

  4. Fundamental fairness, why make them serve a suspension while their appeal process plays out, are you kidding me?

    The CBA says that the commissioner handles the appeals. He handled the appeal, neither he nor the PA liked the result so they decided to try and force another appeal system – which isn’t part of the CBA, which was agreed upon. So who isn’t being fair?

    He lost his appeal, he is trying to force something that shouldn’t be there. Sorry, he isn’t being handled unfairly.

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