Pittsburgh-based Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is one of two judges on President Trump’s short list to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to national reports.
Jan Crawford of CBS News broke the news a few days ago that Trump’s list was down to three names. Last night, Crawford and her colleagues reported that the list is down to two: Hardiman, and Denver-based 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Hardiman was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2003, by then President George W. Bush. Four years later, he was promoted to the Circuit Court where he sits now.
Hardiman is a native of Massachusetts, who was the first in his family to attend college, attending the University of Notre Dame. He later attained his Law Degree from Georgetown University Law Center, which he paid for by driving a taxi.
Hardiman’s educational background would give the court some diversity in that regard, as he would be the only Justice not to have attended an Ivy League School.
Hardiman has become known as an originalist, especially when it comes to the Second Amendment, and gun rights. His rulings include a desire to look into the “text and history” when referring to the Constitution.
Hardiman’s rulings have also shown he is a supporter of the death penalty, and in favor of rolling back restrictions on campaign finance.
Democrats in the Senate will probably question Hardiman’s stance on Roe v. Wade, as he has not ruled directly on any cases involving abortion.
President Trump will also be able to get a personal reference from his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, serves alongside Hardiman on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
A few of Hardiman’s decisions have ended up in front of the Supreme Court, including a case concerning free speech and a case involving the legality of strip-searching prison inmates. The Supreme Court upheld both of Hardiman’s decisions in these cases.