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Appellate Court To Rule On Stay Of Lockout Today Or Tomorrow

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With the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals yet to decide whether to lift or keep in place the NFL lockout, the court yesterday ordered the case to be expedited, with oral arguments set for June 3. U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson last week enjoined the now two-month-old lockout, but after a little more than a day without a lockout, the 8th Circuit Friday issued a temporary stay of her decision. The league is looking to stay Nelson’s decision through the appeal of Nelson’s decision, while the players want the lockout lifted now. A decision is expected today or tomorrow by the three-judge panel hearing the motion.

The order yesterday disclosed the same three judges hearing the stay motion will hear the appeal by the NFL. The judges are Kermit Bye, Steven Colloton, and Duane Benton. Bye was appointed by President Clinton and voted against the temporary stay, while Benton and Colloton were appointed by the recent President Bush. If the stay is denied, the league can appeal that decision to the full 11-member 8th Circuit. That would take a few weeks and during that time the lockout would be lifted. The league’s first brief is due Monday, and the players response May 20. The league’s response to that is due May 26.
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