By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
Published: October 31, 2013
A federal appellate court on Thursday granted a stay in the landmark police stop-and-frisk ruling in New York City, and removed the trial judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, from the case.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Judge Scheindlin “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by compromising the “appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008.
The ruling effectively puts off a battery of changes that Judge Scheindlin, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, had ordered for the Police Department.
Those include the operations of the monitor who was given the task to oversee reforms to the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, which Judge Scheindlin found to violate the Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution.
In a two-page order, the panel of three judges from the Second Circuit also criticized Judge Scheindlin for granting media interviews and making public statements while the case was pending before her.
The judges ordered that the stop-and-frisk lawsuit be reassigned to another judge.
My impression of discrimination rulings is that they are full of this kind of bias and partiality, but the liberal judges almost always get away with it. Sometimes they get overturned, but almost never are they publicly humiliated like Judge Scheindlin.
Why the difference?
I don't know, but one guess might be that these other judges didn't cross crime-fighting billionaire Michael Bloomberg over the core of his legacy as mayor.