The Insulation of federal judges from political pressures was central to the arguments Friday as the Second Circuit considered District Judge Harold Baer’s controversial 1996 decision to reverse himself on the suppression of evidence in the case of United States v. Bayless.

Tracy W. Young, the appellate lawyer for Carol Bayless, said there was little question that the firestorm of criticism following Judge Baer’s decision to suppress 80 pounds of cocaine following a Washington Heights arrest in 1995 undoubtedly led Judge Baer to reconsider his ruling, reopen the suppression hearing and allow the drugs as evidence.