"Spygate" or "Camera-gate" as it's been called may finally be history. Over three years after the Patriots were found to have broken league rules when videotaping a Jets game, the class-action suit a fan brought against New England has been shot down by the US Supreme court.
The news that the US Supreme court opted not to hear the case comes as little surprise to many legal experts. According to reports, the Court declined to hear the case after lower courts dismissed the case. The decision was made without comment.
According to the AP, NJ native Carl Mayer -- a Jets season ticket holder – had his case dismissed by a US District court, and again by a Federal appellate court prior to the Supreme Court ruling.
Mayer was seeking millions in damages from the Patriots, and head coach Bill Belichick, for videotaping signals in the Patriots - Jets 2007 season opener at the Meadowlands. The suit claimed that the Patriots' actions "deceived customers" and those fans were entitled to compensation.
The Patriots were found guilty of violating league rules by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell punished the team by fining the organization $500,000 and stripping the Patriots of their first round Draft pick in 2008. Goodell also fined Bill Belichick $250,000 for his role in the situation. The commissioner went on record during prime-time Sunday night game to announce the punishment which Goodell called "unprecedented."
Even without the benefit of the videotaping, which Mayer claimed distorted the game outcomes, the Patriots finished 16-0 in the regular season, and went to the Super Bowl as undefeated favorites against the New York Giants. Tom Brady and Randy Moss set scoring records for touchdowns that year. New England's success after being punished, counters claims that somehow the Patriots' prior success was a result of videotaping games as some players and former coaches suggested.
The Supreme Court ruling should bring closure to the incident for fans of both teams. It may be naive to believe the riling will remove the entire stigma related to "Spygate", but helps put any legal ramifications to rest.