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The Feds are probably going to appeal the steroid list ruling

Sep 2, 2009, 9:50 AM EDT

The federal prosecutors who just got their butts handed to them in the BALCO steroid test seizure case have asked the appeals court to stay the ruling.  For those of you who were smart enough to stay the hell away from law school, that means that they want the court to order that no one, including baseball, the lawyers, the lower courts, etc., destroy the steroid test list.  They’ve asked for this because, presumably, they plan to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.  Or they just want to buy time.  Either way, it’s a fairly routine move.

Two questions, though:

1.  The feds, generally speaking, don’t like it when courts tell them that they can’t seize anything they want to seize. As it stands now, only one part of the country — the part that lives in the 9th Circuit — is subject to the more restrictive law that came down last week. Do the feds really want to risk having that decision affirmed by the Supreme Court and have it apply to the whole country?

2. How funny would it be if people ignored a stay order issued by the court and started destroying the lists? After the sealing order has been ignored and the names of A-Rod, Ortiz, Sosa and Manny leaked, how could the feds possibly be heard to complain?

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled baseball blogging.

  1. hop - Sep 2, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    What a great court system we have, just keep appealing until you get the decision you like. And you gotta give thanks to the Fed gov. for wasting the taxpayers money on this stuff because its so important for us to know who took steroids! I mean thats clearly the most important issue facing our country today without a doubt!

  2. Grant - Sep 2, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    Would you rather that a miscarriage of justice stand purely in the name of expediency? Appeals may seem frivolous and even wasteful, but I’d sure like to have them in my pocket when my freedom, livelihood, or life was on the line.
    Craig: As I recall, the Ninth Circuit is generally one of the more left-leaning of the circuits. Could it be that this decision might easily be reversed on appeal. I’m no lawyer, of course, but I took a couple legal history courses as an undergrad, so I obviously know just enough to seem foolishly misinformed.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 2, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Grant — you’re right about the general makeup of the Ninth Circuit, but the way they lean only takes you so far. For one thing, the judge that wrote this opinion is not particularly lefty, and this doesn’t smell like the sort of out-of-the-mainstream decisions the 9th is famous for.
    More fundamentally, though, is that from what I can tell, this isn’t a situation where the 9th made a new law that begs for interpretation or overturning by the Supreme Court. They mostly came down by saying that these facts don’t meet the established standard (as opposed to changing the standard). This is key because the vast majority of cases don’t get Supreme Court review, even if the parties want it. The SCT has to decide it needs to review it, and in this case, I don’t know that there’s any controversial issue of law that they would feel the need to remedy.

  4. Grant - Sep 2, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    Thanks for the clarification. Of course I knew that the SCT rarely looks at cases (and is doing it less and less even as more and more decisions get made). But, you know, it’s a lot more fun to think that they will. Everything gets more interesting when Antonin Scalia’s involved.

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Sep 2, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    2. How funny would it be if people ignored a stay order issued by the court and started destroying the lists? After the sealing order has been ignored and the names of A-Rod, Ortiz, Sosa and Manny leaked, how could the feds possibly be heard to complain?
    Forgive me as I’m not a lawyer, but wouldn’t the Feds have copies of everything, so even if the MLBPA/Lawyers destroyed all their copies, it’d be for naught?

  6. Rob C - Sep 2, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    aw snap!

  7. Tanner Jenness - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    IVF and icsi: Most people compare the IVF to multiple births, but after seeing how controled it can be , I’d consider it to be a rather safe and effective treatment that provides qualities of both the natural birth and the arificial insemination. It’s very useful and lovely , but the person themself feels quite a bit better and safer.

  8. health insurance quote - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    If the economy turns up, the government stands to gain due to increased tax revenues. The people can figure on another seven years of famine, though.

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