Senator Pat Toomey reportedly has questioned Rebecca Haywood’s qualifications to be a Third Circuit judge, but a quick comparison of her background with the court’s recently confirmed judges shows that her qualifications compare favorably.
In the past 10 years, there have been 8 judges confirmed to the Third Circuit: Chagares, Jordan, Hardiman, Greenaway, Vanaskie, Shwartz, Krause, and Restrepo.
Of those 8, there are 5 who had served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys (the times of service are approximate):
- Chagares — 14 years as AUSA, with 5 years as chief of civil division
- Jordan — 5 years as AUSA
- Greenaway — 5 years as AUSA, with 2 as chief of narcotics
- Shwartz — 14 years as AUSA, with 3 as chief of criminal division and 2 as executive AUSA
- Krause — 5 years as AUSA
Haywood has been an AUSA for 17 years, with 6 years as appellate chief.
Of the same 8, there were 6 who had clerked for federal judges:
- Chagares — circuit
- Jordan — district
- Greenaway — district
- Vanaskie — district
- Shwartz — district
- Krause — circuit and USSC
Haywood clerked twice for WDPA Judge Bloch.
And, while I haven’t run the numbers on this, I’d bet the farm that Haywood has more experience arguing cases in the Third Circuit than any recent Third Circuit nominee. Earlier I linked here to a few of her more significant Third Circuit oral arguments.
Unqualified? Hard to square that with her record.
I somehow failed to mention as one of Rebecca Haywood’s qualifications the fact that she’s a graduate of the University of Michigan law school. This was a grievous oversight — partly because Judges Scirica and Nygaard are also Michigan law graduates, but mostly because my own wife is a Michigan law graduate.
Hail to the victors valiant …