Sunday, September 23, 2007

Supreme Court Upturns Right of Habeus Grabbus

(AP) Washington - In a rare late night ruling, the Supreme Court today upturned the previously held right of Habeus Grabbus in the National Football League.

The ruling, which was largely split on ideological lines, marked a stunning defeat for the American Football Liberties Union (AFLU) and a tacit support of President Bush's policies towards defensive holding.

The case stems from a 2005 incident between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers where running back LaDainian Tomlinson was hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison prior to a reception. Harrison was charged with defensive pass interference, although Steelers' coach Bill Cower argued that it was only incidental contact.

Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, "There are two kinds of holding: offensive holding, illegally blocking a player from the opposing team by grabbing and holding his uniform or body; and defensive holding, called against defensive players who impede receivers who are more than 5 yards from the line of scrimmage, but who are not actively making an attempt to catch the ball."

In a minority dissenting opinion, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with the Majority's definition of holding, although added that a player "is not necessarily guaranteed exclusive right to the space."

In a separate part of the ruling, however, the Court ruled that the Bush Administration does not have the right to indefinitely detain players suspected of pass interference without trial.

AFLU officials were saddened by the ruling.

In a prepared statement, Executive Director Bill Hillgrove remarked, "Harrison really put the clamps on Tomlinson, and had a little habeus grabbus action on him... but that's no reason to charge him with more than 10 yards or loss of down."

The Court is expected to hear arguments regarding Bill Belichick's warrantless surveillance case later this term.

The case is Cope, Hillgrove, Illkin, et al v. National Football League.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

i'm shaking my head and giggling.