A federal appeals court blocked a judge’s ruling that the New York Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional and ordered she be removed from the case.

It’s a victory for outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had defended the practice. The court said Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling would be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Scheindlin had ruled that the city violated the constitution in the way it carried out its program of stopping and questioning people. She appointed an outside monitor to oversee major changes to the NYPD, and ordered reform to police training and supervision, among a range of other measures.

The ruling on the unconstitutionality of stop-and-frisk stands, but those changes will now be delayed pending the outcome of the city’s appeal, and Scheindlin will no longer be involved in the case. Jonathan Moore, a lead attorney in the federal lawsuit challenging the department’s stop-and-frisk practices, said was “unprecedented”.

“Basically, this court is saying to the citizens of New York, who have followed this case and who were very uplifted by the fact that a federal judge stood up to protect the rights of all citizens of the city of New York … this is the panel of the second circuit saying: ‘Drop dead, New York’,” Moore said.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s unprecedented and it’s a travesty of justice that this panel did this.”

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