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What’s with this trend of defying judicial mandates?

January 25, 2020
Sheilla Dingus

For those not on Twitter, I wanted to share a thread that I tweeted that concerns a disturbing trend of judges and others defying judicial mandates based simply on disagreement with the judge. At one time this was unheard of, but in the thread, I give two examples from NFL cases, and these appear to be just a symptom of a larger problem.

Joe Patrice’s article gives a close look at one example of this in which an immigration judge denied a Seventh Circuit mandate simply because he “disagreed.”  The immigration judge isn’t alone, however.  We’ve seen this in defiance of congressional subpoenas, in which Congress collectively shrugged their shoulders rather than seeking enforcement, setting a bad example for others who might consider similar actions.

We’ve also seen defiance of judicial mandates in two ongoing NFL cases–one a disability appeal by Charles Dimry and the other, Judge Brody’s attempts to side-step a Third Circuit mandate regarding settlement funders connected with the concussion settlement.  An average citizen charged with only a misdemeanor is often tossed in jail if they fail to make a court appearance, either purposefully or through ignorance, as this is seen as defiance of a court order, so I have to ask the question, why are some of the more powerful actors seemingly exempted?

Discussion on Judges Defying Mandates (Text)

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Sheilla Dingus founded Advocacy for Fairness in Sports in October 2016, after a stint with Defenders of the Wall, a New England Patriots based blog where she dived deep into the legal aspects of Deflategate. Along the way, she observed many inequities in sports and felt a need to address some of the under-reported stories in sports law. She draws from her background as a former professional dancer, who like many of the athletes she writes about, took an early retirement due to orthopedic injuries. After a return trip to college she worked for a legal software company, with seven years as a Project Manager and Analyst. She brings her analytical skills to the table in breaking down complex lawsuits, and enjoys pursuing her longtime interest in journalism.

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