The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the NFL's request for an expedited appeal, and will hear arguments from the two sides on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 10 a.m. CDT. No, this does not mean the lockout is lifted or -- ahem -- locked in.
It simply means that the Court of Appeals is willing to handle this appeal in a "typically" (as Clerk of Court Gans has previously told us) speedy fashion. The ruling on the temporary stay will likely come before this Friday, when the Court of Appeals will decide whether or not players will remain locked out between then and the date of the ruling on the June 3 hearing.
The league wants the court of appeals to overturn Judge Susan Richard Nelson's ruling in Minnesota District Court. The players, obviously, want the opposite.
There are some other scheduling notes along with the Judge's Order for the expedited appeal: Friday May 9 is the deadline for the NFL's Opening Brief to be filed; Friday, May 20 is the deadline for the players' Response Brief; and Thursday, May 26 is the deadline for the NFL's Reply Brief.
The Judges hearing the case -- Bye, Colloton, and Benton -- will then hear 30 minutes of oral arguments from each side on June 3 and rule some time (shortly, one would presume, though the complexity of the case could delay that as much as several months) thereafter.
Absolutely worth noting is that Judge Bye was the dissenting judge in the ruling that put the lockout back in place. The Court of Appeals will rule soon on the issue of a permanent stay.
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