Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

UPDATE: The danger of nonrandom case assignment: How the Southern District of New York’s 'related cases' rule has shaped the evolution of stop-and-frisk law

On December 2, 2013, I posted the abstract from an article arguing that some federal judges have been able to influence policy through a system of non-random case assignment. As an example, author Katherine Mcfarlane pointed to New York District Judge Shira Scheindlin's frequent assignment to stop-and-frisk cases. 

Judge Nancy Gertner since has contributed this insight:

Thanks for the post, but a critical detail was omitted. The author of the article had been assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York since April of 2012, defending the city in civil rights cases. While that doesn't mean there are unimportant insights in the article, her distinct perspective should have been disclosed. As should mine: I was one of the retired judges who signed onto an amicus brief in support of vacating Judge Scheindlin's disqualification at the hands of the Second Circuit -- a decision that was made without a record, briefing, an opinion from the judge. Indeed, a central question we have had is where the panel got its information from -- untested, one sided though it made be. Here's one answer.

Judge Scheindlin had found that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program discriminated against minorities and was therefore unconsitutional.

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed Judge Scheindlin from cases involving the NYPD's  stop-and-frisk program, and it blocked her ruling pending the city's appeal.

On November 22, the Second Circuit rejected the city's request to vacate her order

CRL&P related posts:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civil_rights/2013/12/update-the-danger-of-nonrandom-case-assignment-how-the-southern-district-of-new-yorks-related-cases-.html

Fourth Amendment, Stop-and-frisk | Permalink

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