Tom Brady’s Uphill Battle with the Supreme Court

Majority of people are having difficulty fathoming how the infamous “deflategate” case, a seemingly insignificant issue to the general public, has the potential to be heard by the highest court in the United States. It is important to note that a lower court must consider whether the litigant, Tom Brady (“Brady”), is entitled to have the court decide the merits of his dispute with the NFL before the case has potential to be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. In order to meet the minimum constitutional requirements a plaintiff must allege an actual or threatened injury to himself that is fairly traceable to the allegedly unlawful conduct of the defendant, and is likely to be redressed by the requested relief. Brady and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) were entitled to have their case heard by the Federal District Court because Brady is subject to a four game suspension, which is an economic injury. Brady and the NFLPA are alleging Roger Goodell and the NFL’s punishment and investigation of him was an unlawful breach of the collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). Review by the Supreme Court is considerably more burdensome and unlikely. In addition to establishing standing, the Supreme Court only reviews cases that have national significance, will avoid frequent and reoccurring litigation on the same matter, and/or establish precedent for future decisions.[1] Only 100-150 cases, out of the nearly 7,000 cases that are presented to the Supreme Court yearly, are accepted for review.[2] The circuit justice for the Second Circuit, Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will review Brady’s petition for stay, which is a legal order that...