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People For the American Way: Advancing Kobes Nomination Shows Senate GOP Cares about Power, Not Justice

Press Release
Derrick Crowe
People For the American Way
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Washington, D.C.—People For the American Way today denounced the GOP-led Senate for voting to advance the nomination of Jonathan Kobes to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Republican congressional staffer twice rated “Not Qualified” by the American Bar Association. The Senate voted 50-49 with Vice President Mike Pence voting to break the tie to end debate on Kobes’ nomination and to proceed to a floor vote.

“Mr. Kobes may be a good Senate Republican general counsel, but he has not been able to produce a shred of evidence that he is qualified for a seat on a circuit court with jurisdiction over seven states,” PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker said. “The American Bar Association has twice rated him as ‘Not Qualified,’ in part because the nominee could not even provide a sufficient writing sample for them to analyze his ability to do the job.”

Clearly, Kobes was selected for political and ideological reasons. He has defended Trump’s attacks on the integrity of the federal judicial system, opposed abortion rights, and criticized efforts to achieve LGBTQ equality.

"By advancing Kobes’ nomination, the Senate GOP is saying that the only qualification that matters is your status as a loyal Republican, including fealty to Trump,” Baker added. “In doing so, they are telling the American people in a clear voice that they care about power, not justice.”

PFAW wrote to senators on Nov. 7, 2018, to express its opposition to Kobes’ nomination, and you can read the letter online.