Federal appeals court blocks ruling on stop-and-frisk due to district court judge's partiality

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Judge Scheindlin “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by showing an “appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008.

The ruling effectively puts off a battery of changes that Judge Scheindlin, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, had ordered for the Police Department. Those changes include postponing the operations of the monitor who was given the task to oversee reforms to the department’s stop-and-frisk practices, which Judge Scheindlin found violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution.

In a two-page order, the panel of three judges also criticized Judge Scheindlin for granting media interviews and for making public statements while the case was pending before her.