In a very rare move, a federal appeals court has ordered a federal trial judge removed from the cases invalidating New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy and issued a stay of the lower court’s order, reinstating stop-and-frisk while the appeal is ongoing.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that Judge Shira A. Sheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York violated the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. Specifically, she violated the requirements that a judge must “avoid impropriety” and that she was ethically required to disqualify herself because her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
Judge Sheindlin issued two orders totaling 237 pages, where she ruled that the Big Apple’s policy–which was applauded by law-and-order conservatives but condemned by urban liberals–violated the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. She later granted media interviews to support her decision and discount her critics.
The Second Circuit further ordered that the case be reassigned to a different federal trial judge for all further trial-level developments. Finally, the court also ordered that these three judges would maintain jurisdiction of all appeals on this matter, in which they will now hear arguments on the merits to determine whether New York City’s policy is unconstitutional.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.