Justices Dunked On The NCAA | A Rare Moment Of Humor During Remote Arguments
April 1, 2021
The Supreme Court yesterday seemed very skeptical of the NCAA’s arguments, with justices across the ideological spectrum sharply questioning the notion that the organization could bar payments to athletes in order to protect the amateurism of college sports. JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH said during arguments that “the antitrust laws should not be a cover for exploitation of the student-athletes.” JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN said schools have “undisputed market power, and they use that power “to fix athletic salaries at extremely low levels, far lower than what the market would set if it were allowed to operate.” And JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS noted that coaches’ salaries have ballooned in recent years, even though they too are working in amateur sports. “It just strikes me as odd,” he said. If justices rule in favor of allowing colleges to offer greater academic-related payments to student-athletes who play football and basketball, it will be the greatest breakthrough to date in the effort to pay college athletes.
DUNKIN' ON YOUR HATERS|
“The day after the Final Four was set, helping the NCAA refill its pandemic-plagued coffers, here’s how college sports’ governing body showed its appreciation to the thousands of players who sacrificed to compete during a season shaped by COVID-19: It argued before the Supreme Court Wednesday the key to keeping the whole enterprise afloat was supporting schools’ ability to continue capping athletes’ compensation — even limits on extra benefits that are related to education.” That’s J. Brady McCollough reacting in the Los Angeles Times to the NCAA case before justices yesterday. He notes, “It must have come as quite a shock Wednesday morning when some of the most conservative justices on the bench began to thunderously dunk on the NCAA.”
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson with Bloomberg Law notes there was a “rare moment of humor” between justices yesterday during remote arguments over the NCAA compensating student-athletes. Former Solicitor General SETH WAXMAN mistakenly referred to JUSTICE THOMAS as the chief justice, to which Thomas thanked him for the promotion and said he thought he’d do a good job. But CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS said, “There’s no opening.” Robinson writes, “Such interactions are common when the justices are sitting together in the courtroom. There’s even a Twitter account that keeps tabs on which justices receive the most ‘[laughter]’ during arguments—as such actions appear on the court’s transcripts. The late ANTONIN SCALIA frequently topped that list during his decades on the court. But there have been fewer laughs while the justices have been hearing arguments over the phone during the pandemic.”
FINALLY TIME FOR TERM LIMITS?|
In The Washington Post, Adam Chilton, Daniel Epps, Kyle Rozema and Maya Sen review their new academic article that examines how term limits at the Supreme Court might play out in practice. They explain, “Our key finding was that all the major term limits proposals would have reduced the levels of extreme partisan imbalance over the last 80 years. It would have done this by preventing justices from strategically retiring at times when they could maintain their party’s advantage on the court.” But there may be pitfalls too, they note, not to mention the political challenge of successfully convincing Democrats and Republicans to reform the Supreme Court.
OTHER NEWSLos Angeles Times
“The future of Roe vs. Wade and the rights of women to choose abortion are being fought out in an unusual dispute within the Supreme Court. At issue is whether to take up a direct challenge to the landmark abortion decision, an early test for the court with three appointees of President Trump.”The New York Times
“The facts of the case are not in dispute, but last week, nearly four years after the attack, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned Mr. Khalil’s conviction on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. The woman, the court said in a unanimous decision, was ‘voluntarily intoxicated at the time because she had made the decision to drink, and therefore did not meet the threshold for mental incapacitation under state law.”