Next time somebody tells you court decisions are never driven by the political preferences of judges and assuming you never knew the political affiliations of the Justices who decided Bush v. Gore in 2000, take a look at the 8th Circuit opinions granting the owners a permanent stay pending a decision on the merits in Brady, et al. v. NFL
(the lockout case)
Here is what the two GOP appointees in the majority had to say in granting a stay
We consider first the League’s likelihood of success on the merits. We do not make a final determination on the merits, but consideration of likely success is
unavoidable, for the governing standard “compels us to embark upon such an exercise.”...
The Norris-LaGuardia Act limits the jurisdiction of a district court to issue an injunction “in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute.” 29 U.S.C. § 101.
The district court ruled that the Act does not apply here and that it had jurisdiction to enjoin the lockout.
Our present view is that this interpretation of the Act is unlikely to prevail....In sum, we have serious doubts that the district court had jurisdiction to enjoin
the League’s lockout, and accordingly conclude that the League has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits.
In other words the GOP majority has stated the District Court ruling for the players is likely to be reversed on appeal
OTOH here is what the Democrat appointe said in his dissent
Due to the irreparable harm presently incurred by the Players, compared with the limited harm, if any, suffered by the NFL, I believe the balance of harms weighs
heavily in the Players’ favor. Consequently, I would require the NFL to satisfy a heavier burden of showing it is likely to prevail on the merits....
In analyzing the merits, it becomes readily apparent that the NFL fails to satisfy its burden.
Link to full opinions
The granting of the stay this evening gives greater weight to Cris Collinsworth's comments to Peter King in MMQB this morning
Collinsworth had written on his website, footballpros.com, and tweeted that his best guess for the start of the NFL season was early November. Then there'd be a nine- or 10-game regular season, then the same number of playoff games. So I reached out to him to see what he meant....
He thinks the appeals court will side with the owners and the current lockout will stay in place. If it does, neither side will be supremely motivated to move; the owners will figure they've already made a strong offer (the March 11 offer) and will wait for the players to budge. But the players, on a tremendous streak in the courts right now, will figure they've made sound arguments in front of a mediator in Washington and judges in Minneapolis, and even if the lockout stays legal, their antitrust case will have a good chance in the Eighth Circuit.
And the players won't blink until they start missing paychecks. Collinsworth saw it twice as a player, in 1982 and 1987. "The only thing I'm absolutely certain of,'' he told me, "is that there will be players broke by the middle of September. There will be pressure to make a deal. But there will be pressure by owners too. They've got payments to make too -- stadium mortgages.''
Collinsworth gives them three or four weeks to make a deal. Then a week of free agency, signing undrafted college players and unsigned veterans. Two weeks of camp. One preseason game. Then the season starts, either on Oct. 30 or Nov. 6.
Big win for the owners on appeal after getting drubbed in district court