Tom Brady to Appeal Deflategate Ruling to Entire U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Tom Brady will appeal the federal court ruling re-instating his four-game suspension for “Deflategate,” requesting that the entire U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals re-hear his case in what’s known as an en banc hearing, Brady’s lawyer, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.
Olson, who was recently added to Brady’s legal team, is famous for arguing high-stakes Supreme Court cases like Bush v. Gore and challenging Proposition 8, a California state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
“The facts here are so drastic, and so apparent, that the court should rehear it,” Olson said.
Olson said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fumbled the case, adding that he “completely ignored the schedule of penalties for equipment-related violations,” which could have resulted in nothing more than a fine.
In April, a three-person federal appeals court panel ruled 2-1 that Brady must serve a four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for the use of under-inflated footballs at the AFC Championship Game in January 2015. The panel ruled that Goodell “properly exercised his broad discretion” in suspending Brady for his alleged role in Deflategate.
The panel overturned a ruling by a Manhattan judge while siding with the league in its battle against Brady and the NFL Players Association after an independent investigator found it was “more probable than not” Brady was “at least generally aware” of the alleged scheme to deflate footballs.
Brady has repeatedly denied any involvement in the scandal.
En banc hearings — in which a case is heard by a full panel of judges, rather than by a panel selected from them — are rarely heard and often involve unusually complex cases, making it all the more likely the case ends up being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The SCOTUS has the discretion to reject an appeal. But they are inclined to take up cases where the law is unsettled due to contrary rulings by lower courts, where there are potential national implications, and where the issues may continue to be litigated by lower courts.
Sunday was the final day for the Patriots quarterback to file an appeal to his four-game suspension after he was granted an extension earlier this month.
According to his legal team, “Tom has been enjoying a low-key offseason, spending time with his family and going through his normal routine to prepare for the coming season, but for now has to sit back and await his fate for the season.”