Biographical information is beginning to emerge for Rebecca Ross Haywood, President Obama’s nominee to the Third Circuit.
First, here is the full text of the White House nomination announcement:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Rebecca Ross Haywood to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
“Throughout her career, Rebecca Ross Haywood has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service,” said President Obama. “I am proud to nominate her to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.”
Rebecca Ross Haywood: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Rebecca Ross Haywood is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, where she has served as Chief of the Appellate Division since 2010. As part of the office’s Management Team, she regularly consults on and reviews filings for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In addition, Haywood frequently practices before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and confers with trial attorneys on cases before the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Haywood was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and raised in the neighboring town of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. She received her A.B. cum laude in 1990 from Princeton University. She then attended the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as an Associate Editor on the Michigan Law Review and obtained her J.D. magna cum laude in 1994. After graduating from law school, Haywood clerked for the Honorable Alan N. Bloch of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 1997, she worked in the Pittsburgh office of the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (now Jones Day). Haywood served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, where she handled civil matters, including representing federal agencies in employment and medical malpractice cases. From 2001 to 2003, she once again clerked for the Honorable Alan N. Bloch. In 2003, Haywood returned to the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where she was promoted to Appellate Chief in 2010.
During her time in the United States Attorney’s Office, Haywood has been actively involved in workplace management and training, serving as a member of the executive and training committees since 2011, as well as serving as the coordinator for prevention of workplace harassment from 2004 to 2010. In addition, she is actively involved in the community and regularly speaks to students and legal organizations about the law and her career.
Here is a link to the oral argument audio in one of the more significant appeals Haywood handled as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States v. Wecht. Haywood’s argument begins at 22:00. The panel was Smith, Fisher, and a spirited Van Antwerpen, and her opposing counsel was David Fine. The resulting opinion ruling in the government’s favor is here.
Three other notable Haywood oral arguments:
- U.S. Brown, 13-2214 (2014)
- U.S. v. Clemons, cont’d here, 10-4454 (2012)
- U.S. v. Waller, 10-1321 (2011)
Strong coverage of the nomination controversy in this article entitled, “Toomey Irked by Obama’s Third Circuit Nominee,” by P.J. D’Annunzio in yesterday’s Legal Intelligencer.
The best profile of Haywood so far is Brian Bowling’s article at triblive.com. A photo of Haywood accompanies the post, along with some good quotes (with hyperlinks added by me):
The nomination of Haywood, who is black, is an important step for diversifying the courts, said Tim Stevens, of the Pittsburgh Black Political Empowerment Project.
“There’s a dearth of people of color in the courts, either locally or nationally,” he said. “Her nomination is important not only as a person of color but as a person of integrity.”
Two former assistant U.S. attorneys who worked with Haywood and, as private attorneys, faced off against her in court, said she’ll make a good judge.
“Aside from possessing the most important quality a judge can have — which is good judgment — Rebecca is brilliant and thoughtful,” said Tina Miller, a criminal defense lawyer who has known Haywood for more than 20 years.
“She’ll make an excellent judge,” said Stephen Stalling[s], a criminal defense lawyer who worked with Haywood for four years. “She has first-rate appellate experience, an excellent legal mind and probably the perfect temperament to serve on the 3rd Circuit: She’s intellectually curious, fair-minded and smart as a whip.”
Stallings was AUSA co-counsel with Haywood in Wecht.
The Daily Princetonian has this profile, featuring a quote from her favorite undergraduate professor.
I will continue to update this post as additional sources become available.