The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Tom Brady's petition to have his case against the NFL reheard, meaning his four-game ban continues to be upheld. While getting his suspension overturned is now a significant long shot, the Patriots quarterback does have options.
Should Brady wish to continue to fight the ban, he has 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court. In turn, he could ask the Second Circuit for a stay of the suspension while his team prepares its latest appeal.
If the request to the Second Circuit for a stay is denied, Brady could seek a stay from the Supreme Court as it determines whether or not it will consider his case. That decision would not be decided by the entire Supreme Court, however. Instead the decision would come down from the Supreme Court Justice assigned to the Second Circuit.
The Supreme Court Justice designated to handle Second Circuit cases at the moment is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which might be good news for Brady. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Democratic president (Bill Clinton), and her history of decisions suggests that she might be more likely to side with labor than management.
On the other hand, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests that Brady's friendship with Donald Trump could potentially muddy things. Justice Ginsburg recently called the presumed Republican nominee for president "a faker," and Trump responded on Twitter by saying Justice Ginsburg's "mind is shot" and that she should resign.
Regardless of how Ginsburg feels about any of Brady's pals, she could very well hold the key to Brady's availability for the first four weeks of this season.