Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Judge Sotomayor and Sports Labor Relations

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s relationship with sport labor relations was discussed by more than a few writers last week. Her injunction, preventing Major League Baseball owners from imposing their economic system on the players, effectively ended the 1994-95 strike. The President’s comment, at her introduction, that Judge Sotomayor was thought by some to have saved baseball, instigated a journalistic review of the state of affairs surrounding that case, summarized nicely by The Biz of Baseball. To maintain that her decision “saved baseball” is hyperbole. However, the injunction was exactly the right call as it forced both sides back to the bargaining table and eventually to the new CBA in 1997. That reasoning is of course completely lost on the reliably obtuse Mike Lupica and George Will (from Political Punch).

Sotomayor’s other significant judgment on sport labor relations was her decision against Maurice Clarett in his challenge to the NFL age restriction policy. This verdict received far less attention last week, but was well documented by The Sports Economist, and Deadspin has a spirited take. I’m far less satisfied with this decision and will discuss my arguments in the next post.


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  2. Very interesting. Thank you for your insights.