Judge uses NFL’s reason for leaving St. Louis to justify not moving Rams relocation litigation

The NFL has decided to try to move the Rams relocation lawsuit out of St. Louis. The presiding judge has decided not to do so.

Via Jacob Kim of the St. Louis Business Journal, Judge Christopher McGraugh concluded on Tuesday that there’s no evidence that potential jurors in the case have an inherent bias against the league.

In reaching this conclusion, Judge McGraugh relied in part on the NFL’s justification for leaving St. Louis in the first place. He pointed out that the league decided that “there wasn’t enough support in this community to maintain the team.”

“It seems now to be able to say that this community is so angry that they’ll punish them for leaving seems to be contrary,” McGraugh said.

Here’s the other basic reality, as previously explained. Most people in any given NFL community don’t care about the local NFL team. That’s why politicians take such great pains to avoid public votes on questions of the investment of public money into the construction of a new stadium. Most people in a community don’t care about the local NFL team. Plenty do; usually, more than enough to fill the stadium and to watch the game on TV. But there’s not the kind of saturation that would make it impossible for the NFL to find jurors capable of being unbiased as to the NFL because they’re upset that the Rams left.

In our view, the NFL doesn’t want a new jury pool. It wants a new judge. And a motion to recuse Judge McGraugh eventually could be coming, given that he previously has decided to allow the plaintiffs to have a look at the financial records of Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and other owners.