Judge Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit could be President Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court nominee. According to Politico, Trump is rumored to have narrowed his choice down to Hardiman and Brett Kavanaugh.
The announcement is expected to be made at 9 p.m. Eastern on July 9.
Hardiman, 52, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law. Over the past 148 years, a Georgetown Law alum has never joined the high court, according to the National Law Journal. Additionally, if Hardiman is chosen as the Supreme Court justice, he will be the first to do so without having an Ivy League degree under his belt.
Hardiman was born and raised in Massachusetts. He worked as a cab driver, through his father’s business, during his high school years, graduating from Waltham High School in 1983. According to the SCOTUS Blog, Hardiman was the first person in his family to go to college. He enrolled at Notre Dame, where he was a Notre Dame Scholar.
“The Notre Dame Scholars Award Program seeks to attract exceptional students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement; who have been acknowledged by their teachers, counselors, and peers as leaders; and who are committed to service in their communities,” reads the university’s website. Hardiman helped pay his way through undergrad by continuing to drive a taxi.
Hardiman graduated — with honors — from Notre Dame in 1987. He decided to continue his education, and enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center. While studying for his law degree, Hardiman was an editor at the Georgetown Law Journal. He worked at various law firms in the summers, earning money to help pay his tuition. He graduated in 1990, obtaining his Juris Doctor degree.
“The JD degree is usually required to practice law in the United States. It is considered the first degree in law. The JD degree is offered by American Bar Association (ABA)-approved law schools, by law schools that are not ABA-approved, and by many Canadian law schools.”
After graduating from Georgetown, Hardiman joined the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, in its Washington D.C. office. He worked as an associate in the firm’s litigation department from 1989–1992. In 1992, he joined Titus & McConomy in Pittsburgh, eventually making partner in 1996. Three years later, he left Titus & McConomy for Reed Smith, also in Pittsburgh, where he was a partner in the litigation department.
In 2003, he was appointed to be a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, by then-President George W. Bush. Five years later, former President Bush nominated Hardiman to the Third Circuit.
Hardiman and his wife, Lori, live in Pittsburgh with their three children, Kate, a senior at Notre Dame, Matthew, a freshman at Notre Dame, and Marissa, a sophomore in high school.