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This will be short and sweet. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a stay, during the appeal to the Circuit by the City of New York, of the district court's order that found the stop-and-frisk practices of the New York Police Department unconstitutional and that appointed Peter Zimroth, a former city corporation counsel, as monitor in the case.
Candidate Bill de Blasio, heavily favored in the mayoral campaign to be decided next Tuesday, had filed an amicus brief asking that the stay be denied.
In addition to granting the stay, the motion panel of the Court of Appeals took two extraordinary steps, that some will no doubt characterize as highhanded. They removed the district court judge for alleged ethics violations -- it is unclear to me whether the parties or the judge had any opportunity to address these contentions.
In addition, the motion panel -- consisting of Judges John Walker and Jose Cabranes, as well as Barrington D. Parker, Jr. -- took it upon itself to retain jurisdiction of the case for the purpose of hearing the merits.
If as expected, de Blasio is elected, the City may, of course, withdraw its appeal. But the panel, by summarily removing the district judge, has assured that someone unfamiliar with the proof in the case -- not having heard the stories of those arbitrarily stopped by police, will administer the district court's order.
This is most unusual.
ED: Nice statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights at the link. As I surmised, the City had not raised any issue of replacing the judge, and this was an action taken by the panel on its own inititiative, with no one being able to offer a defense of the district judge. http://ccrjustice.org/...
Originally posted to David in NY on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:54 PM PDT.