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Appeals court sets June 3 hearing on NFL lockout

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal appeals court agreed Tuesday to fast track the NFL's request to put its labor lockout in place until a new deal is finally worked out.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis set a June 3 hearing, with 30 minutes of oral argument for each side, before Judges Duane Benton, Kermit Bye and Steven Colloton.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued her injunction stopping the lockout on April 25 and denied the NFL's appeal two days later. The league appealed to the 8th Circuit, and the same three-judge panel issued a temporary stay of Nelson's order on Friday.

The lockout was put back in place by the owners a few hours later. The 8th Circuit is still deciding whether to make the stay more permanent, until the appeals process can play out.

Under the appeals schedule set up Tuesday, the league's opening brief is due May 9 and the players must file their response brief by May 20. The NFL's reply to the response is due May 26.