New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s bid to win reversal of his four-game suspension over a conspiracy to deflate footballs—dubbed ‘Deflategate’—was rejected Wednesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The court denied a petition by Brady and the National Football League’s Players Association to have the full Second Circuit sit en banc and void the suspension imposed by an NFL executive and upheld by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Southern District Judge Richard Berman had vacated the suspension, set to begin last September, saying Goodell abused his powers as an arbitrator (NYLJ, Sept. 4, 2015), but a three-judge Second Circuit panel voted 2-1 in April to vacate Berman’s ruling.
In a one-paragraph order, the original three-judge panel refused to rehear the case and the full court rejected en banc review, which the Second Circuit rarely grants.
The court does not reveal how each individual judge votes on petitions for rehearing en banc, but sometimes judges go public. On divisive issues, some judges will write opinions publicly concurring with, or dissenting from, the decision to rehear, or not rehear, en banc, often engaging in the type of back and forth more associated with the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
For the Brady team, this time the court was silent.
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