On Friday the NFL lockout case had its hearing in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Paul Clement represented the league and presented arguments. For the players was Ted Olson. Present at the hearing were many players, but for the league only one owner was present and Roger Goodell did not attend. The three judges were Kermit Bye, Steven Colloton and Duane Benton.
Thanks to NFL Network reporter Albert Breer (on Twitter @albertbreer) we were able to get a rundown of what happened during the court hearing. After the jump you can read what Breer tweeted.
Time warp: judges introduced to "Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye ..." Judges aren't wearing wigs though.
Clement argues that Norris-Laguardia Act's terms are broad, doesn't limit labor disputes to involve unions.
Clement argues that union agreed implicitly not file antitrust suit for 6 months after expiration, per CBA.
Clement says lockout makes "no economic sense", if employer isn't seeking a new labor deal.
Clement argues on validity of decertification, NLRB jurisdiction. Says decert needs NLRB judgment, means union can't reappear for a year.
Judge Benton: "They've disclaimed twice, right?" ... Clement: "Yes, which ought to be a problem for them."
League arguing lockout should be allowed to last for at least a year, as a tool to get a new deal.
Clement says he thinks everyone believes solution "is ultimately going to include a (CBA)" and as such, that NFL should be able to use "a classic tool in labor law." That would be the lockout, as a tool to expedite a new deal.
Olson up now ... Judge just asked him about "tactical disclaimers" ... In other words, using disbanding a union as a tactic. Olson cites the process the players went through in getting decertification approved, voting through all 32 teams.
Olson also argues, "The league (not the players) wanted the union to be reformed" in 1993. Says being a union doesn't benefit players much.
Benton aggressive from the bench, reading part of Norris-LaGuardia, saying "Doesn't that make the district court completely wrong?"
Olson: "league desperately wants players to be a union, so they can violate the antitrust laws." Cites NFL violating those laws "15 times"
Olson: "The union is not in existence anymore. The players cannot engage in collective bargaining, because it is against the law."
Olson citing 1993 as proof now that decertification is valid.
Interesting: Benton and Colloton -- the two republican appointees -- have asked about all the questions.
Judge Bye, the democratic appointee and dissenting judge on the stay, has been quiet. He's the senior judge, running the hearing.
Clement cites players saying offseason off: "this is the best thing that ever happened to me." Got a big response from players here.
Court done. Bye says ruling in "due course", and decision will be one "that neither side will like." Encourages them to work it out on own.