In a shocking blow to Bill de Blasio and the critics of the current mayor’s stand on stop-and-frisk, the Federal appeals court blocked Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling on police stop-and-frisk and removed her from the case.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the decisions of Judge Shira Scheindlin will be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city. The judge had ruled in August the city violated the Constitution in the way it carried out its program of stopping and questioning people. The city appealed her findings and her remedial orders, including the decision to assign a monitor to help the police department change its policy and the training program associated with it.
The appeals court said the judge had to be removed from the case because she ran afoul of the code of conduct for U.S. judges by compromising the necessity for a judge to avoid the appearance of partiality, in part because of a series of media interviews and public statements responding publicly to criticism of the court.
Keeping it short, Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio released the following statement:
“I’m extremely disappointed in today’s decision. We shouldn’t have to wait for reforms that both keep our communities safe and obey the Constitution. We have to end the overuse of stop and frisk–and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect.”
His Republican opponent, Joe Lhota, saw the Court’s ruling as a reason for celebration, in the last stretch before Election Day.
“Bravo! As I have said all along, Judge Scheindlin’s biased conduct corrupted the case and her decision was not based on the facts,” said Mr. Lhota in a statement. “The ruling by the nation’s second highest court was an unprecedented rejection of both the result of the case and the manner with which it was achieved. From Day One, I have stood with Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly in support of these proactive policies that have saved countless lives. The court has vindicated our positions.”
“The only thing more dangerous than Judge Scheindlin’s behavior is Bill de Blasio’s naïve public safety approach,” Lhota charged his opponent. “He has embraced the judge’s actions and has been the public face of unwarranted attacks on our police and the policies, that have had a chilling effect on the NYPD. As I have said repeatedly, his policies will make us less safe. We need a mayor who will stand up for proper police practices, not one who will cave to political correctness. This was a critical first step toward uncuffing the NYPD, but we cannot stop here. The next mayor absolutely must continue this appeal. New Yorkers need to know when they go into the voting booth on Tuesday that a vote for me is a vote for a safe city.”