Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have a message to critics of stop-and-frisk: We told you so.
Critics of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice, including many of the candidates vying to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, applauded a judge’s ruling this morning declaring the city’s current use of the tactic unconstitutional.
In a round of strongly worded statements, the Democratic hopefuls repeatedly said the ruling reaffirmed what they already knew: police had overstepped their boundaries by stopping hundreds of thousands of young men, overwhelmingly young black and Latino, on insufficient grounds.
In a major blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s much-touted policing agenda, a judge has declared the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy in violation of constitutional rights.
“[T]he City adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data,” ruled the federal judge, Shira Scheindlin. “This has resulted in the disproportionate and discriminatory stopping of blacks and Hispanics in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.”
Earlier today, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which defined which jurisdictions needed federal clearance for voting law changes before implementation. Because three New York counties–Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx–fell under Section 4’s formula, today’s ruling effectively removes the pre-clearance standard from any voting changes that affect the city or state.
Put in simpler terms, changes to New York’s election law will no longer face the potential obstacle of automatic federal intervention. For example, any lawsuit against the recent decision to shift this year’s run-off election date back a week and allow the city to return to levered voting machines would be unlikely to succeed before Election Day on September 10, redistricting attorney Jeff Wice told Politicker this morning.
The names of all of the lawmakers secretly recorded by disgraced ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley will be unsealed tomorrow, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision came following a petition by members of the press eager to find out who Ms. Huntley had recorded while wearing a wire last year. Documents filed in federal court last week ahead of Ms. Huntley’s sentencing, revealed that, in an effort to reduce her sentence on embezzlement charges, she had agreed to wear a wire to tape conversations with fellow lawmakers.
Earlier today, the state Supreme Court blocked New York City’s controversial attempt to ban large cups for sugary drinks in restaurants and other food establishments. The ruling, which you can view below, blasted the ban as “arbitrary and capricious,” ultimately creating “an administrative Leviathan.” The rules were scheduled to go into effect tomorrow.
“It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the City, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds and the loopholes inherent in the Rule, including but not limited to no limitations on re-fills, defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the Rule,” Judge Milton Tingling ruled.
Opponents of New York’s 2011 gay marriage law had sought to overturn the legislation under grounds that it violated New York’s Open Meetings Law, arguing the closed-door meetings held by New York State Senate Republicans with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg constituted an illegal violation. But the State Supreme Court stymied their hopes today and ruled in favor of New York State and gay marriage supporters.
“Accordingly, we conclude that the judgment should be reversed insofar as appealed from, and judgment should be entered in favor of defendants declaring that defendant New York State Senate did notviolate the OML in enacting the [Marriage Equality Act] and that marriages performed thereunder are not invalid,” Acting Justice Robert Wiggins declared.