Sotomayor Made Significant Sports Rulings
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has been involved in some significant sports rulings as a judge, issuing rulings that ended the baseball strike in 1995 and reaffirmed the NFL's policy that a player must be three years removed from high school to be eligible for the draft.
The nearly eight-month baseball strike of 1994 and '95 was, to that point, the longest and most costly work stoppage in professional sports history, producing the cancellation of the World Series in '94 and leading most of the franchise owners to open spring training in '95 with teams of replacement players on the field.
Sotomayor, then a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, in effect ended the strike with a ruling that restored the previous working conditions for the players. That led the players to end their strike, minus a new labor agreement that was not completed until later, after 232 days.
In 2004, Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that overturned a ruling by a lower court that had allowed running back Maurice Clarett to enter the NFL draft.
Clarett had challenged the NFL rule requiring a player to be at least three years removed from high school to enter the draft.
After the initial ruling, wide receiver Mike Williams and others entered the draft. But the ruling by the appeals court judges kept Clarett, Williams and those others out of the draft that year and reaffirmed the NFL's eligibility rule.
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