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Could a onetime Waltham taxi driver be the next Supreme Court justice?

Thomas Hardiman.
Thomas Hardiman.(Cliff Owen/Associated Press/File 2016)

One of the people on the list of 25 who might be named to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is originally from Massachusetts and, once upon a time, drove a taxi in Waltham.

Thomas Hardiman, 52, a federal appeals court judge in Pennsylvania, is from Waltham, where his father ran a cab and school transportation company. He worked as a driver/dispatcher for Waltham Central Square Taxi in 1987. (That was the same year he finished University of Notre Dame and began to get his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center.)

President Trump said Wednesday he will pick his replacement for Kennedy from the list, which was posted on the White House website in November.

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In early 2017, Hardiman and another appeals court judge, Neil Gorsuch, reportedly were among the front-runners for the seat left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans had prevented Democratic president Barack Obama from filling that seat. Republican President Donald Trump eventually nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and guns.
The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and guns.