An updated look at Third Circuit chief judgeship succession

Back in 2016, in my biggest scoop and nerdiest moment as a blogger, I figured out that Judge McKee stepped down early as the Third Circuit’s Chief Judge so that Judge Smith could become chief.

In that 2016 post, I worked out how the circuit’s chief judgeship succession would go, assuming everyone stays on the court, serves as chief when eligible, and serves their full eligibility:

2016 – 2021  Smith

2021 – 2028  Chagares

2028 – 2035  Hardiman

2035 – ?   [to be determined — no judge who’s currently on the court]

So, four-plus years later, here’s what the updated assuming-no-surprises succession looks like:

2016 – 2021*  Smith

2021 – 2028  Chagares

2028 – 2035*  Hardiman

2035 – 2041* Matey

2041 – ? [to be determined — no judge who’s currently on the court]

* Not full seven-year term due to age-70 cutoff.

Strikingly, in this scenario three judges appointed by President George W. Bush will serve as the Third Circuit’s chief, while none appointed by President Obama will.