Judge Heytens was confirmed by the Senate on November 1st, 2021. He was previously a government lawyer and academic with experience at both the state and federal level.
From 2018 to 2021, Heytens served as Solicitor General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. From 2007 to 2010, he was an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2020, Heytens and the Commonwealth of Virginia joined a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to divert $3.8 billion in military funding towards construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Trump’s attempted use of emergency powers was illegal.
Heytens was a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law from 2006 to 2007, and again from 2010 to 2014. During that time, he frequently served as a co-director of the school’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
Upon confirmation, Judge Heytens became the first Solicitor General of Virginia to serve on the Fourth Circuit.
Heytens received his B.A. from Macalester College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He clerked for Judge Edward Becker on the Third Circuit from 2000 to 2001 and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court from 2002 to 2003.