By Ruth Bayang
Northwest Asian Weekly
A divided U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady for his involvement in “Deflategate” on April 25.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 that Goodell did not deprive Brady of “fundamental fairness” with his procedural rulings. The split decision may end the legal debate over the scandal that led to months of football fans arguing over under-pressurized footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015.
The story got our attention here at the Northwest Asian Weekly, not only because we love the Seattle Seahawks, who lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, but because of one of the circuit judges in the “Deflategate” case, Denny Chin, who was born in Hong Kong. During oral arguments in March, Chin said evidence of ball tampering was “compelling, if not overwhelming” and there was evidence that Brady “knew about it, consented to it, encouraged it.”
Chin has presided over other high profile cases, including the 2009 Bernie Madoff case — the disgraced investment banker who created one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history.
Chin joined the court in 2010 after an appointment by President Barack Obama.
Another Asian judge involved with a big story recently is Acting Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. He was the one who sentenced former New York police officer Peter Liang to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service for the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley.
Judges, defense lawyers, and former colleagues say Chun — the state court system’s first Korean American judge — is fair, has a sharp knowledge of the law, and keeps an even keel on the bench.
Chun, 54, said during an interview with the Law Journal earlier this month, “Every case I hear, I take it very seriously.”
Chin — Chun’s friend of nearly 30 years — describes Chun as “a good person… I think he’s someone who is considered tough but fair, which is, I think, the ideal judge should be.”
Ruth Bayang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.