Since I’m not a legal expert, I am not one hundred percent sure what to make of this. But it looks suspicious. Judicial Watch reports, “Judge Who Rules NYPD Racially Profiles Punished.”
The Clinton-appointed federal judge that ruled New York’s stop-and-frisk program amounts to “indirect racial profiling” got yanked off the case by an appellate court that found the jurist “ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges.”
It was a painful spanking that one of the city’s newspapers said “generated legal and political shockwaves.” Indeed this sort of public admonition of a federal judge is rare, which may lead some to conclude that this one, Shira Scheindlin, really screwed up. In removing Scheindlin the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that her appearance of impartiality had been “compromised.”
The case involves the New York Police Department’s successful anti-crime initiative directing officers to stop and search people suspected of criminal activity. Leftist organizations claim it violates civil rights because it disproportionately affects blacks and Hispanics and a group of minorities sued the city to get rid of the measure. In mid-August, after a 10-week trial, Judge Scheindlin determined that stop-and-frisk amounted to racial profiling and resulted in the “disproportionate and discriminatory” stopping of millions of black and Hispanic men.
According to Newsday, Scheindlin insists the ruling against her is baseless:
Scheindlin, in an unusual response to the appellate ruling, said she had taken the stop-and-frisk case – Floyd v. City of New York – only because it was “related” to another case she was hearing in 2007. She rejected the panel’s claim that she discussed it in interviews this summer.
“All of the interviews identified by the Second Circuit were conducted under the express condition that I would not comment on the Floyd case,” she said. “And I did not.”
In addition to staying the ruling, the appeals panel — Judges Jose Cabranes, John Walker and Barrington Parker — ordered that they would hear the appeal in March, rather than reassign it to a new set of three judges.
But lawyers for the plaintiffs who brought the stop-and-frisk case said they would try to get the full Court of Appeals to overturn the panel, describing the effort to disqualify Scheindlin – a well-known, 19-year veteran of the bench with a reputation as a liberal judge – as highly unusual and baseless. “We were shocked,” said Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
It seems she gave the interviews after NYC authorities went after her in the press.