On May 23, Tom Brady, star starting quarterback for the New England Patriots filed an appeal for second hearing by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals.Brady is appealing his four-game suspension scheduled for the first four games of the 2016 season, which was imposed by the NFL for involvement in “Deflategate.”
The court upheld Brady’s suspension on April 25 and on the grounds that Brady was treated fairly according to the collective bargaining agreement. However, Brady’s attorneys disagreed and described Goodell’s appeal decision as “biased, agenda-driven, and self-approving.”
This past Monday, May 23, Brady appealed en banc. The en banc appeal requires seven of the 13 judges of the 2nd US Circuit Courts to agree to the en banc session before a hearing can be held. If the en banc session is not agreed to, Brady has the right to take his case to the highest court in the nation, the US Supreme Court.
Brady’s chance of success in regard to whether the circuit court will hear the appeal is very low. According to the Boston Globe, only eight of more than 27,000 cases got a full hearing between 2000 and 2010.
Brady’s attorneys are considering asking the court for a stay, which would pause action in the case and allow Brady to play if no conclusion is reached close to the start of the season. It is expected that the 2nd Circuit Court will decide whether to hear the appeal well before the start of the 2016 season.
NFL Players Association attorney Theodore B. Olson described the two primary arguments in appealing Brady’s suspension.
The first is that the commissioner Roger Goodell appointed himself as an arbitrator and did not make his decision based on what had happened before the investigation. An arbitrator is supposed to make a decision on the basis of what occurred before an investigation. The second is that Goodell did not abide by provisions of the CBA regarding discipline.
Ultimately, Brady is filing the appeal to combat an unfair ruling by Goodell and the NFL.
If Brady’s suspension is upheld, he will not play in matchups against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills. These games could prove to be important for the Patriots even though they are early in the season. The Dolphins and Bills are division rivals, and the Cardinals and Texans both made the playoffs last season. He will make his 2016 debut in the fifth week of the season against the Cleveland Browns.