The NFL and the National Football League Players Association are trying to convince the Supreme Court to strike down an executive order that prevents players from using performance-enhancing drugs during the regular season.
On Thursday, lawyers for the NFLPA argued that the president’s ban violates a clause in the U.S. Constitution that says Congress may not regulate interstate commerce or enter into any treaty with foreign nations without first passing the “Parliamentary Bill of Rights” and that the ban violates the Constitution’s ban on federal laws affecting interstate commerce.
The case is one of several lawsuits seeking to overturn President Donald Trump’s executive order.
The case centers on whether the NFL, which is in the midst of its regular season, could get a contract for the 2019 season if it were permitted to use performance-based drugs.
The NFLPA has argued that because the president did not enact the ban, Congress could have imposed it.
In court filings, the NFL argued that Congress has the power to pass the legislation that the NFL could use, and that if Congress were to pass such a law, the president would have had to allow players to use illegal drugs.
“The Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of any controlled substance,” the NFL’s legal team wrote in its motion to strike the ban.
“Congress cannot pass legislation that does not provide that Congress may regulate interstate Commerce or enter the Treaty Clause.
Congress cannot do both.”
The NFLPA is not the only player’s group to be seeking to block the ban from going into effect.
The players association filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Courts Thursday, saying that it is not clear that Congress passed the ban on its own, as it is the president who signed the executive order on March 6.
“In light of the president issuing the Executive Order and the Congress passing a law allowing the use and regulation of drugs, Congress must pass the Parliamentary Bills of Rights to allow the president to implement his ban on drug use,” the team wrote.
“The President could have, and should have, done so, as he did on March 5, if Congress had not passed a Parliaments Bill of rights on this matter.”
The players’ union also argued that “the NFL is entitled to assert that Congress could not have enacted the Parliament Bills of rights to allow it to implement its drug ban without congressional authorization, but Congress did so in a manner that gave the president the authority to implement the Parlaments law and therefore the President is entitled, on the basis of his executive authority, to enforce his drug ban.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case in January.