On Wednesday, the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit officially denied Tom Brady’s Deflategate appeal. This leaves Brady one final card to play: an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Brady has yet to announce a decision on whether or not to appeal his 4-game Deflategate suspension to the Supreme Court. But if he does, Brady’s friendship with Donald Trump could become a factor.
Mike Florio of NBC and Pro Football Talk, who is also an attorney, was a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show,” and discussed how Trump is suddenly a factor in what is already the most surreal story in the history of the NFL. In short, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be initially responsible for deciding the fate of Brady’s suspension during the appeal and as she made clear this week, she is no fan of Trump.
Here is Florio’s explanation:
“The key person in deciding that request would be Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is assigned to the cases arriving from the Second Circuit. She is the one who will decide whether or not Tom Brady’s suspension will be put on hold while the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take up the case. So whether or not he plays Week 1, Sunday night, NBC, in Arizona, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to be the person who decides that … Here’s where it gets very interesting and very political. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, based on her background and her ideology, she would be naturally inclined, I think, to stay this. But there’s a complication, and yes, it all leads back to Donald Trump. Tom Brady is a self-professed friend of Donald Trump, and earlier this week, justice Ginsburg just flat-out lambasted Trump, calling him a faker and all sorts of other things. Those political elements can work their way into cases where they shouldn’t and I am very interested to see to what extent Brady’s friendship with Trump actually hurts him in front of justice Ginsburg.”
The comments Florio is referring to came earlier this week when Ginsburg blasted Trump in an interview.
“He is a faker,” the justice told CNN’s Joan Biskupic. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
While Brady has stopped short of publicly endorsing Trump for president, he has referred to his occasional golfing buddy as “a good friend.” Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly referenced his friendship with Brady on the campaign trail, even defending the Patriots quarterback in the Deflategate saga.
“Leave Tom Brady alone!” Trump exclaimed near the start of a rally in April after a court reinstated the 4-game suspension.
While it seems ludicrous to think a justice would use somebody’s friendship against them in a legal matter at the Supreme Court, Florio notes that it can happen.
“What meets the eye is rarely what makes the decision,” Florio told Patrick. “There is always stuff behind the scenes. And with Trump out there, and with Brady making it clear that he and Trump are friends, and Ginsburg making it clear that she has no regard for Trump, how can that not be an issue at some level in this case?”
The counterargument is that Ginsburg took a lot of flack for her comments and the reverse could happen. Maybe Ginsburg will be overly conscious about appearing biased against Brady. However, her earlier comments don’t give any indication that she will be backtracking from her feelings on Trump anytime soon.
We may never know just how much of a factor Trump will be, but that it is even possible is just the latest bizarre twist in what has been a surreal case.
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