2nd Circuit, Benchslaps, Federal Judges, Minority Issues

Judge Scheindlin Appeals Her Benchslapping From The Second Circuit

Judge Shira Scheindlin is no Jonathan Martin. When the Second Circuit bullied her off the stop-and-frisk case, she didn’t run crying to her parents. Instead, she’s standing up to the Second Circuit, appealing its ruling that she was improperly biased. She notes that the Second Circuit kicked her off the case sua sponte, without giving her any opportunity to defend or explain herself.

It’s funny… Scheindlin is basically arguing that she got stop-and-frisked by the appellate court. She was walking along, judging her own business, but the Second Circuit jumped to conclusions based on her appearance.

Unfortunately, in my experience, telling the people who stop-and-frisked you that they jumped to a conclusion without probable cause usually doesn’t go well…

There has been a lot of stop-and-frisk news in New York this week. First, Bill de Blasio won the race for mayor, so there’s a good chance that New York police officers will have to respect the civil rights of minorities for the first time in two decades. Then, stop-and-frisk architect NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly seems poised to be rewarded for his profiling practices with a seven-figure job at JPMorgan. I guess Jamie Dimon thinks that all hackers look the same.

And now we have the stop-and-frisk judge fighting back. From the New York Times:

Late Wednesday, Burt Neuborne, a law professor at New York University, filed a legal brief in the federal appeals court in Manhattan on behalf of Judge Scheindlin, asking that he and a team of four other prominent lawyers be allowed to challenge the order disqualifying her from the stop-and-frisk case.

The motion called the order removing her from the case procedurally deficient, inaccurate and unwarranted, and asked that it be vacated or reviewed by the full appeals court.

The panel’s failure to give Judge Scheindlin notice and an opportunity to defend herself, the brief claims, “was not merely a breach of the norms of collegiality and mutual respect that should characterize interactions between District and Circuit judges, it is an affront to the values underlying the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of procedural due process of law.”

I’m on record arguing that the Second Circuit’s decision to remove Scheindlin was unwarranted and unprecedented. David Lat has argued that judges should be allowed to give media interviews. (Granted, we’re media types, we like judges who give quotes and make stories more interesting.)

But there are also very basic procedural issues here. The Second Circuit seems to the think that Scheindlin inappropriately manipulated the assignment process to get the case in the first place, while Scheindlin thinks the Second Circuit didn’t give her procedural due process. Again, it’s funny to me that here we have judges who can’t always get these procedural issues right, and yet people like Ray Kelly don’t allow for the possibility that beat cops are not following the proper procedures when they stop random black people on the street.

Legal Brief Filed in Support of Judge in Stop-and-Frisk Case [New York Times]
Err on the Side of Allowing Speech [New York Times]
Legalese It! with @MikeSacksHP [HuffPost Live]

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