A federal appeals court on Thursday halted a sweeping set of changes to the New York Police Department’s policy of stopping and frisking people on the street, and, in strikingly personal terms, criticized the trial judge’s conduct in the litigation and removed her from the case.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by compromising the “appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008.
I am not pleased. Especially with the Second Circuit’s irritations over Judge Scheindlin’s interviews, one with the New Yorker.
Methinks they are displacing anger at Scalia — whose public statements not only demonstrate his improper prejudice, but are nuts —onto Scheindlin. Meanwhile, Judge Scheindlin’s decision was precisely correct. She judged the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy as unconstitutional. And the three Second Circuit judges somehow never got to criticize her constitutional scholarship. They just didn’t like her personality.
I notice that the Times didn’t mention which three judges came up with this. C’mon, folks, let’s name names.
My prediction? This won’t stick.