Biden nominates Superior native to federal bench

Toby Heytens, a 1993 graduate of Superior Senior High School, could serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th District if confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Toby Heytens grew up in Superior's East End and was nominated by President Joe Biden for the U.S. Court of Appeals 4th District in the president's fifth round of judicial nominees. (Jed Carlson/

A man who grew up in Superior’s East End and went on to become the solicitor general of the Commonwealth of Virginia is among President Joe Biden’s picks for the federal bench in the president’s fifth round of judicial nominations.

Toby J. Heytens was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, according to a new release issued by the White House on Wednesday, June 30.

He’s one of two people nominated to the U.S. appellate courts and one of eight nominated for a bench, according to the White House.

RELATED: Superior native serves as Virginia solicitor general

After his appointment to solicitor general in 2018, Heytens told the Telegram he attended Nelson-Dewey Elementary and East Junior High until his parents moved to Billings Park. He finished out his junior high years at Central before attending and graduating from Superior Senior High School in 1993.


Heytens earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in 1997 and his juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2000, where he taught as an associate professor from 2006-2007 and 2010-2014, before becoming a professor there, according to the White House press release.

Heytens served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the U.S. Department of Justice and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the White House stated.

Heytens told the Telegram in 2018, Ginsburg wasn’t the “notorious RBG” when he clerked for her but working for her was a “one of the great honors of my life.”

In addition to clerking for Ginsburg, Heytens told the Telegram in 2018 that he argued six cases before the nation’s high court, worked in private practice and taught a semester at Cornell University before teaching at University of Virginia.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, located in Richmond, Virginia, hears appeals from nine federal district courts in the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, and from federal administrative agencies.

Heytens' nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals requires U.S. Senate confirmation.

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