Stop-and-Frisk Is Still Unconstitutional, Says Federal Appellate Court
The endless volley between Mayor Bloomberg and appeals courts is over: On Friday morning, a federal appellate court denied the city's motion to vacate U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional. The ruling detonates Bloomberg's last hope of overturning the ruling before Bill de Blasio takes office January 1.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the same three-judge panel that removed Scheindlin from the stop-and-frisk over partiality concerns, dropkicked the city's motions with a five-page opinion Friday morning.
Scheindlin ruled in August that stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional and imposed a serious of reforms on the NYPD aimed at curtailing the practice. But on October 31, the Second Circuit deemed that Scheindlin had acted partially, a decision based in part on the interviews she granted with the media in the weeks following the ruling.
On November 9, the city renewed its efforts to get out from under Scheindlin's ruling by filing a motion to vacate her decision. Today the Second Circuit said no.
We wish you could tell what the basis for the denial was, other than because the facts of the case had not changed, there were no grounds to vacate Scheindlin's decision. Other than that, it's pure legalese all the way down.
But the point is: Stop-and-frisk remains unconstitutional, at least until the city regroups to file another people. Whether they will succeed before January 1 is up in the air. We have to admit, finding a way around the Fourth Amendment in six weeks would be impressive
The full decision is on the next page.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.