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Expect oral arguments on the Norris-LaGuardia Act to dwell on whether certain words contained in the Act should be read literally or expansively. The arguments will also offer conflicting accounts of how Congress, which passed the Act during the height of the Great Depression in 1932 and undoubtedly without a second's thought to its potential application to disputes between billionaire team owners and millionaire players, intended the Act to be used.
The two sides will also contest whether the NFLPA's decertification was a sham. If, as the players contend, the NFLPA no longer represents them, and if the sides are no longer bargaining in good faith, then the federal labor exemption, which insulates collectively bargained rules from antitrust review, would no longer apply. Although the NLRB, and not the three-judge panel, will determine whether the NFLPA's decertification was legitimate or a sham, the panel likely will link its ultimate decision to its views on that subject.
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