November 1, 2013 New York Post - This judge may end up getting judged herself.
“Stop-and-frisk” jurist Shira Scheindlin could face a reprimand or even a suspension now that a federal appeals panel has rebuked her, legal experts told The Post.
“The extremely harsh ruling may cause the federal court to examine whether she has violated the code of judicial conduct,” said Cardozo School of Law professor Ellen Yaroshefsky. “Then there could be some kind of censure . . . There are a range of sanctions they could impose.”
The three-judge appeals panel bashed the Manhattan federal judge on Thursday for failing to “avoid impropriety” in the NYPD stop-and-frisk case.
“The ruling was a flag for anyone who wants to jump in and file a complaint against the judge,” said Indiana University law professor Charles Geyh, who added that, at worst, Scheindlin could be suspended from hearing cases.
“That is embarrassing. That’s not something judges want.”
In extreme cases, judges could be recommended to the House of Representatives for impeachment, but that seemed unlikely for Scheindlin.
“Being removed from the case is probably humiliation enough,” said Manhattan Institute senior fellow Heather MacDonald.
Scheindlin gave no reply outside her Brooklyn home Friday when asked if she feared censure. Her husband lunged in front of journalists’ cameras before driving off with her.
Scheindlin, who enjoys a lifetime post as federal judge, could face a review if someone files a complaint accusing her of misconduct or if a chief circuit judge calls for an investigation, the Federal Judicial Center says.
Anyone can file a complaint. Such a complaint would be reviewed by the chief circuit judge.
“It’s possible in those circumstances for the circuit judge and the judge to meet and resolve the problem themselves,” Geyh said.
If the allegations are “reasonably in dispute” the chief circuit judge refers the complaint to a special committee.
The committee would investigate and send its findings to the Circuit Judicial Council, which would investigate and could take corrective action including “temporarily suspending case assignments, providing informal counseling, or issuing censure or reprimand,” the FJC says.
A total of 1,364 complaints were filed against federal judges in 2012, the US Courts Web site says.
Additional reporting by Kevin Fasick & Selim Algar