Mayor Bloomberg told listeners in his weekly radio address this morning that his administration was working for a "smooth and successful…world-class transition" for Bill de Blasio. At the same time, his Law Department is furiously fighting to erase the federal stop and frisk ruling and subsequent police reforms, shrugging off Mayor-elect de Blasio's plan to allow the ruling to stand.
While de Blasio has previously been more circumspect on the issue of having a federal monitor oversee the NYPD, the Times reports that at a press conference in Puerto Rico on Friday night he said that he looked "forward to working with the monitor."
De Blasio said that his brief meeting with the current mayor on Wednesday wasn't very substantive, and his aides confirmed that the Bloomberg administration and the Law Department haven't coordinated with them about their strategy.
Meanwhile, shortly after midnight on Saturday, the City's Corporation Counsel, Michael Cardozo, asked the Second Circuit court of appeals to toss out Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling altogether, pointing to the controversial Second Circuit ruling that delayed the reforms and removed Judge Scheindlin from the case because of alleged judicial misconduct (misconduct that Cardozo's lawyers never cited until now).
Cardozo writes in the filing that Judge Scheindlin's rulings “continue, unfairly and improperly, to cloud the public’s perception of the NYPD…Wrongly labeling the NYPD and the City—a racial profiling entity and flouter of the Fourth Amendment should be sufficient injustice to vacate the Orders."
The comments Judge Scheindlin gave to the press that made her "unfair" in the eyes of the Second Circuit judges were directed at Mayor Bloomberg, who, along with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, began attacking her judicial record after she issued her decision. She called their attacks "below the belt."
Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo must have agreed, because according to court documents obtained by the Times, he paid her a personal visit to apologize and "disclaim responsibility" for City Hall's behavior.
“I never thought I would see the corporation counsel of the City of New York stoop to such tactics. It’s judicial McCarthyism," Burt Neuborne, an NYU Law professor, told the Times. Neuborne is the lead attorney in a group that is asking the court to withdraw Scheindlin's removal.
"And, for what?" Neuborne asks. "Because the NYPD's feelings are hurt? That’s the only reason the city gives for this extraordinary attack on the judge.”