Last Sunday morning, the NFL pulled a replacement ref scheduled to work that afternoon’s New Orleans – Carolina game.

It seems our budding official presented a little conflict of interest.

According to, side-judge Brian Stropolo is a big Saints fan.  Stropolo hails from New Orleans, and he apparently had photos of himself wearing Saints gear posted on his Facebook page.  When Stropolo announced that he was scheduled to work the Saints game, a friend posted, “Hey, be nice with those yellow flags for our Saints!”

Stropolo took his Facebook page down.

A league executive said that, “an appearance of impropriety” warranted Sunday’s action.

Apparently, the NFL didn’t trust that the striped shirt would adequately cover up the Saints jersey underneath. Can’t say that I blame them.

This raises an interesting question. Why do we trust that a black robe will cover up the U.S.A. jersey federal judges wear? If we can’t trust a Saints fan to referee a New Orleans football game, how can we have faith in the objectivity of a federal employee judging the extent of federal power? I mean, it seems like that might not work out too well.

In fact, it hasn’t.

Between the founding and 2002, the Supreme Court ruled only 158 federal acts unconstitutional , in whole or in part. Considering the amount of legislation passed by Congress through the history of the Republic- not too impressive!

Maybe it’s time we rethink putting all of our faith in nine federal employees when it comes to determining what is and is not constitutional.

Mike Maharrey

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