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Thomas Hardiman

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Thomas Hardiman

Thomas Hardiman
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Assumed office
April 2, 2007
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Richard Nygaard
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
In office
October 27, 2003 – April 2, 2007
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by William Standish
Succeeded by Cathy Bissoon
Personal details
Born (1965-07-08) July 8, 1965
Winchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Georgetown University

Thomas Michael Hardiman (born July 8, 1965 in Winchester, Massachusetts) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was previously a United States district judge.

He maintains chambers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Federal bench nominations and confirmations

Hardiman was nominated to the Third Circuit by President Richard Lowell Nygaard, who assumed senior status in 2005. He was confirmed to that seat over seven months later by the U.S. Senate on March 15, 2007 by a vote of 95-0. He was the seventh judge appointed to the Third Circuit by Bush.

Hardiman was earlier appointed by Bush to be a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He was nominated to that position on April 9, 2003 and confirmed by voice vote on October 22, 2003.

Education and career

Hardiman went to college at the J.D. in 1990.

Hardiman worked in private practice in Washington, DC and Pittsburgh prior to joining the federal bench. He was part of the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington from 1989–1992. From 1992–1999, he practiced with the Pittsburgh firm of Titus & McConomy, first as an associate, and then from 1996–1999 as a partner. From 1999–2003, he was a partner in the law firm of Reed Smith, also in Pittsburgh. His practice consisted mainly of civil and white collar criminal litigation.

His first precedential opinion for the Third Circuit, United States v. Fisher, 502 F.3d 293 (3d Cir. 2007), was published on September 10, 2007. In that case, he wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel that held a judge could find facts to enhance a criminal sentence according to the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof.

Hardiman is a member of the Pennsylvania State Bar.

Notable rulings

Two of Hardiman's majority opinions for the Third Circuit have been reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States. In United States v. Abbott, 574 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. 2009), affirmed, 562 U.S. 8 (2010), Hardiman held that a defendant's mandatory minimum sentence for violating the federal law against using firearms in connection with criminal activity is not affected by the imposition of another mandatory minimum for a different offense. In Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 621 F.3d 296 (3d Cir. 2010), affirmed, 132 S. Ct. 1510 (2012), Hardiman held that a jail policy of strip-searching all arrestees does not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.

In Barkes v. First Correctional Medical, Inc., 766 F.3d 307 (3d Cir. 2014), Hardiman dissented from the Third Circuit's holding that two Delaware prison officials could be sued for failing to provide adequate suicide prevention protocols after a mentally ill inmate committed suicide. The Supreme Court agreed and unanimously reversed in Taylor v. Barkes, 135 S. Ct. 2042 (2015).

Other noteworthy opinions by Hardiman include:

  • Lodge No. 5 of Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Philadelphia, 763 F.3d 358 (3d Cir. 2014): striking down under the First Amendment a city charter provision barring police officers from donating to their union's political action committee.
  • United States v. Pendleton, 658 F.3d 299 (3d Cir. 2011): upholding under the Foreign Commerce Clause a federal statute criminalizing sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.
  • Kelly v. Borough of Carlisle, 622
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