Somewhat lost in the shuffle yesterday is the news that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL's request for a temporary stay of Judge Nelson's preliminary ruling. So for the moment, all those draft picks teams just drafted can't be signed, and there will still be no free agent signings, trades, workouts, or contact between players and their teams. In other news, it was sure nice to see players wearing Chicago Bears hats take the Halas Hall podium this weekend.
It's interesting to note that of the three-member panel, two members of the panel found in favor of the NFL and granted the temporary stay, while one Justice - Justice Bye - was the lone dissenting voice.
What this means is just that - a temporary stay. This isn't the be-all end-all of waxing Judge Nelson's ruling; rather, what it does is gives the Court a week to further evaluate and decide to grant a longer stay of about six to eight weeks. Then the Court would review Judge Nelson's preliminary injunction.
Justice Bye's dissent focused on two factors - the use of a temporary stay, which is usually only granted for "true emergencies," and the NFL's claim that post-injunction operations were "a complex process that requires time to coordinate..." yet had planned those operations within one day.
So next week, the Court will try this again, with the same judges and same panel. From the NFPost Article:
In order to achieve a stay pending appeal of Judge Nelson's grant of preliminary injunction, the NFL must demonstrate the following:
1) a strong showing of success on the merits
2) irreparable harm without a stay
3) the players are not substantially harmed by a stay
4) public interest favors the stay
Place your bets, folks. Does the NFL meet the four criteria? Does one justice not willing to grant the temporary stay tilt this in the players' favor?