Matthias wrote:I'm not dissing TBM, but that characterization is not correct. There's a number of reasons for the SC to refuse to hear a case: they might feel the issue is not important enough (their review is at their discretion) or they might believe that the issue is not yet ripe for review and want to see it percolate a little in the different circuits before weighing in... or a variety of other factors... but to say that you can deduce from it that they agree with the ruling is just incorrect.
Just a point of clarification here. Matthias is right that not hearing a case is not a reflection on the court's opinion on it.
As I understand it, for a portion of the country, not hearing a case acts as an "endorsement" of the lower court's ruling for all court's below the 8th circuit. So at least for a portion of the country, this ruling now stands that baseball players' names and stats are public domain. One would expect other circuit courts to at least use the 8th circuit's ruling as precedent as well in future cases, although they don't necessarily have to defer to a court at the same level.
At least I'm pretty sure that's how it works.
For the circuit in which the case was decided, the decision acts as binding precedent, but only because no higher court (the SC) has made a decision.
In high school terms, think of it as: you ask your dad if you can stay out until 2am and he says yes. That's good enough for you, but only because your mother hasn't given an opinion one way or another. And your friend can use your dad's decision to let you stay out till 2am as friendly advice to let them stay out until 2am, but ultimately, his parents are free to make their own decision. So if his dad says 11pm, that's the rule for him... what you do between 11 and 2 is between you and your parents.
There is a very rare event in which appeals court decisions serve as SC precedent, but it's only in very rare case where a majority of the SC have to recuse themselves because of conflicts (if they own stock in one of the companies involved, for instance).
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.