16 May 2011
By a vote of 2-1, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the National Football League's request for a stay during their appeal of U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson's April 25 ruling that the lockout be lifted.
"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," Judges Steve Colloton and Duane Benton wrote in the majority opinion.
As with the temporary stay that was granted on April 29, Judge Kermit Bye dissented.
Previously, the 8th Circuit granted an expedited appeal, scheduling a hearing for June 3 in St. Louis.
The NFL and NFLPA resumed court-ordered mediation in U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan's chambers in Minneapolis on Monday. It was the first talks the two sides have engaged in since April 20.
"The NFL's request for a stay of the lockout that was granted today means no football. The players are in mediation and are working to try to save the 2011 season. The court will hear the full appeal on June 3," the NFLPA announced in a statement on Monday night.
The league also issued a statement.
"It is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans. This litigation has taken the parties away from the negotiating table where these issues should be resolved. We remain confident that the appellate court will determine that this is a labor dispute that should be governed by federal labor law. But the league and players, without further delay, should control their own destiny and decide the future of the NFL together through negotiation."
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In what is likely the best opening week of college football we've seen in years, we're treated to a series of neutral-site, out-of-conference matchups that could have a resounding impact on the entire college football season.