5th Circuit Ruling – NFLPA v. NFL – Judge Graves dissents

This is the Ezekiel Elliot case.  A three judge panel’s majority opinion ruled:

“When the NFLPA filed the complaint on August 31, 2017, the arbitrator had not yet issued his decision. Although the district court issued the injunction on September 8, 2017, and the arbitrator had previously issued his decision on September 5, 2017, jurisdiction depends on the facts as they exist when the complaint was filed. See Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 830 (1982). The district court, therefore, lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it issued the preliminary injunction.”

Judge Graves issued a dissent, which begins:

JAMES E. GRAVES, JR., Circuit Judge, dissenting:
This is a case about undisclosed information, uninformed decisions, and an arguably unfair process in determining whether Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should be punished for allegations of domestic violence made by an accuser who was found not credible by the NFL’s lead investigator, who was then excluded from meetings with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Because I conclude that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction, I respectfully dissent.

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