Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 2007. Prior to serving as a circuit judge, he served as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 2003. Before his judicial service, Judge Hardiman worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh. Judge Hardiman was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Notre Dame.
—Donald Trump Statement on Potential Supreme Court Justices
The majority held a school could not constitutionally ban “I ♥ Boobies!” bracelets because they were not plainly lewd and commented on a social issue. But Judge Hardiman dissented, reasoning that the First Amendment does not protect the bracelet in question.
Judge Hardiman dissents from the majority’s holding that the Second Amendment permits New Jersey to require residents show a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun in public.
Judge Hardiman reasons that a city ordinance barring police officers from making political contributions to their union’s political action committee violates the First Amendment.
Following a DEA search of his residence, Terrell Stevenson was convicted of a number of drug possession and distribution charges, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm. Stevenson moved to have his first indictment dismissed under the Speedy Trial Act because of a delay of over 70 days in bringing the case to trial. The district court dismissed the indictment without prejudice, allowing the Government to bring superseding indictments. Eventually, the government successfully convicted Stevenson. Stevenson appealed his conviction, arguing that the first indictment should have been dismissed with prejudice. Judge Hardiman held that the district court’s dismissal of Stevenson’s indictment without prejudice was not an abuse of discretion.
After returning from Germany, where he was convicted of “engaging in sexual acts with a person incapable of resistance” and served nineteen months in a German prison, Thomas Pendleton was convicted in the District of Delaware of illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place. Pendleton appealed, arguing that the “noncommercial” prong of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c) which targets illicit sex tourism is facially unconstitutional. Judge Hardiman held that because the jurisdictional element in § 2423(c) has an “express connection” to the channels of foreign commerce, the statute is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Foreign Commerce Clause.
Griswold purchased a life insurance policy that was then sold to Coventry, a life settlement broker specializing in the sale of life insurance policies for more than their cash-surrender value but less than their net death benefit. Griswold brought suit, claiming that the policy was sold for an inflated price and included undisclosed kickbacks to the broker. The purchase agreement itself contained an arbitration clause. Coventry sought to dismiss Griswold’s suit for lack of standing and to compel arbitration pursuant to the purchase agreement. Judge Hardiman held that Griswold, as a non-signatory to the purchase agreement, could not be compelled to arbitrate claims, and declined to rule on a standing issue, noting that it did not have pendent jurisdiction over the issue.