Stop-and-Frisk Ruling Blocked by Appeals Court, Judge Removed From Case

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Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly just high-fived so hard. A federal appeals court today blocked U.S. District Court judge Shira Scheindlin's earlier ruling that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics are unconstitutional and removed her from the case, citing the appearance of partiality. Scheindlin's orders, including that the department hire an independent monitor and test police cameras during stops, have been put on hold pending an appeal, which will be heard after March 14, 2014.

According to the appeals court, the lawsuit, a class action claiming the NYPD discriminates on the basis of race, was "compromised" by "a series of media interviews and public statements" delivered by Scheindlin. (See the full ruling here.)

"I know I'm not their favorite judge," Scheindlin said of the NYPD in May. Reports at the time said that "the staff of Mayor Michael Bloomberg had reviewed her record to show that 60 percent of her 15 written 'search-and-seizure' rulings since she took the bench in 1994 had gone against law enforcement," a tactic she called a "below-the-belt attack."

Mayor Bloomberg continued that line of attack in his very upset reaction to her original ruling. "Throughout the case, we didn't believe we were getting a fair trial," he said. Now he's getting another chance to defend his law-enforcement legacy.