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Fourth Circuit Pick Advances as Senate Confirms Biden Judges (1)

Sept. 23, 2021, 2:45 PMUpdated: Sept. 23, 2021, 5:51 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Richmond, Virginia based circuit court Thursday sending his nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

The committee voted 14-8 in support of Toby Heytens to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The committee also advanced four district court picks Thursday for courts in Virginia and Connecticut.

Heytens, who served as the solicitor general of Virginia, received support from all of the committee’s Democrats and three Republicans, including ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Grassley said he believed Heytens would have a “moderating effect on the Fourth Circuit.”

Heytens, served as assistant to the solicitor general during the Bush and Obama administrations and was a law clerk to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Judiciary Chair Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) called him “an exceptionally accomplished appellate advocate.”

The committee also advanced the nominations of

The committee meeting comes as the full Senate continues to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees. On Sept. 20, the Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee for the Tenth Circuit, Veronica Rossman.

Rossman is Biden’s fifth confirmed circuit court nominee. Notably, all are women and and four have experience as public defenders.

The Senate also confirmed Margaret Irene Strickland to the District of New Mexico on Sept. 21 and Florence Y. Pan to the federal district court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

(Updates with Pan confirmation.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at