(Christopher Robbins) A panel of federal judges has granted New York City's request to delay court-ordered reforms in the federal stop and frisk trial and has also removed Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case, citing bias.
In removing Judge Scheindlin from the case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit writes [PDF]:
"Upon review of the record in these cases, we conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 2 (“A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.”); see also Canon 3(C)(1) (“A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned . . . .”), and that the appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation was compromised by the District Judge’s improper application of the Court’s “related case rule,” see Transfer of Related Cases, S.D.N.Y. & E.D.N.Y. Local Rule 13(a), and by a series of media interviews and public statements purporting to respond publicly to criticism of the District Court."
The panel of three judges, John M. Walker, Jr., José A. Cabranes,and Barrington D. Parker, cite comments made by Judge Scheindlin in 2007, as well as articles in the Times, the New Yorker, and the Associated Press, in which Judge Scheindlin calls comments made about her impartiality by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg as "below the belt."
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