Thursday, November 21, 2013

Removal of Judge Scheindlin: Six Retired Federal Judges and Thirteen Ethics Profs Seek en banc review

Six retired federal trial judges, joined by thirteen ethics professors, have filed an amicus brief calling for the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals to review en banc  the panel orders removing Judge Shira Scheindlin from the New York City stop and frisk litigation.  The controversial orders, which the court entered on its own motion, are said to be a threat to judicial independence.  The City did not seek to have Scheindlin removed from the six year long case.  But the outgoing Mayor Michael Boomberg sharply and publicly criticized Scheindlin who in August found the NYPD engaged in a pattern of racially discriminatory street searches known as "stop question and frisk".  The abrupt removal order - without notice or briefing  will tend to chill other judges who are the object of sharp criticism by elected officials, say the judges and ethics profs.  - GWC

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