Jonathan Kobes, 44, was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a historical first, it took a vote by Vice President Mike Pence to break a 50-50 tie to grant the lifetime appointment to Kobes.
Kobes received a not-qualified ranking from the ABA last September. Paul Moxley, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, wrote to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, "The Standing Committee had difficulty analyzing Mr. Kobes' professional competence because he was unable to provide sufficient writing samples of the caliber required to satisfy Committee members that he was capable of doing the work of a United States Circuit Court judge. Although Mr. Kobes provided some writing samples, they are either from Mr. Kobes' early days as a lawyer, relating to relatively simple criminal law matters, or from his recent legislative work for Senator Rounds. None of the writing that...