ShareThis Page

McKeesport native nominated to federal bench

| Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5:57 p.m.
President Obama on Tuesday nominated Rebecca Ross Haywood, 47, of the North Hills to fill a vacancy on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Obama has nominated a McKeesport native to serve on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If confirmed by the Senate, Rebecca Ross Haywood, 47, would become the first black woman on the appellate court and fill the vacancy Judge Marjorie O. Rendell created in July when she took senior status. Rendell is the wife of former Gov. Ed Rendell.

Haywood is chief of the appellate division for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

“The president has made an exceptional nomination,” said U.S. Attorney David Hickton. “Rebecca Ross Haywood is a lawyer of unparalleled legal ability and judgment; she is also a wonderful person. She will make an outstanding judge.”

Haywood, a resident of the North Hills, couldn't be reached for comment.

“Throughout her career, Rebecca Ross Haywood has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service,” Obama said in a statement. “I am proud to nominate her to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.”

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, 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.”

Haywood graduated from Elizabeth Forward High School in 1986. She graduated from Princeton in 1990 with a bachelor of arts, cum laude, in economics and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude, in 1994.

Following graduation, she clerked twice for U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch, worked a year at Jones Day, a private law firm, and several years as an assistant U.S. attorney. She was promoted to appellate chief in the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2010.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.