The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay of the landmark federal district court ruling that declared some aspects of the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program unconstitutional and imposed new procedural and oversight protections. The ruling will not be enforced while an appeal is heard.
A federal appeals court halted implementation Thursday of the landmark ruling that invalidated parts of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program. After months of testimony from more than 100 witnesses in a class action challenge, U.S. District Judge Deborah Scheindlin held in August that the police department engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling, and ordered federal oversight.
The appeals court did not rule on the merits of the case, but said the ruling would remain on hold while it reviewed the appeal in the case. Significantly, the court also removed Scheindlin from the case, finding that she had violated ethics rules by suggesting to lawyers that this sort of lawsuit be filed, and speaking publicly to the media about the case.
The removal of the judge may well be warranted (there is little information on what she actually did), but the appeals court apparently did so without even a request for recusal from the defendants. That’s pretty odd. And it could have a serious effect on the outcome of the case if it gets remanded back to the district court and is handled by a new judge.