Judge Shira Scheindlin seeks hearing on stop-and-frisk ruling

A federal appeals court removed Judge Shira Scheindlin,

A federal appeals court removed Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ordered reforms of the NYPD's controversial stop and frisk practices from the case in a ruling that generated legal and political shock waves by halting her plan for a judicial monitorship to oversee the police. Photo Credit: AP

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U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin has asked for a hearing before the appeals court panel that removed her last week from the NYPD stop-and-frisk case for an alleged appearance of bias and stayed her order naming a monitor to implement reforms.

The judge was "completely blindsided," according to her court filing, which says the appeals panel violated its own rules requiring notice and an opportunity to appear whenever a judge is accused of misbehavior in an appeal.

"She wants an opportunity to be heard," said Burt Neuborne of NYU Law School, the attorney who filed a motion asking the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the hearing. "She wants to file papers questioning the procedural fairness and the substantive adequacy of the removal order."

Scheindlin in August ordered changes to address a pattern of unconstitutional stops.

A three-judge appeals panel of Jose Cabranes, John Walker and Barrington Parker found that by maneuvering to take the case in 2007 and giving news interviews this year, she had compromised her impartiality.

The issues were all raised by Cabranes at oral argument. The city never asked to disqualify Scheindlin, and her supporters said the appeals panel distorted the facts without giving any of the parties the opportunity to brief the issue.

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Neuborne, in his court filing, denounced the behavior of the three appeals judges, who were hearing a motion by the city to stay Scheindlin's order until a full appeal is heard in March.

The panel's attack without any notice "was not merely a breach of the norms of collegiality and mutual respect," he wrote, "it is an affront to the values underlying the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of due process of law."

Scheindlin's filing said she took the case in 2007 because it was related to another stop-and-frisk case she was handling. It said the interviews were designed to enhance public understanding of what judges do, and rebut attacks on her record leaked by City Hall that Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo apologized for in chambers.

Neuborne said that if the three-judge panel refuses to hear the judge's arguments, she will seek to have the full court hear the case. The city declined to comment.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who supports stop-and-frisk reforms, has promised to withdraw the city's appeal. Last week, after Scheindlin's removal, U.S. District Judge Analisa J. Torres was assigned to the case.


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