Vice President Mike Pence had to break a tie in the Senate on Tuesday to confirm Jonathan Kobes as a judge on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 50-50 tie came thanks to Sen. Jeff Flake, who joined every Democrat in voting against the nomination. The retiring Arizona senator has vowed to block all judicial picks until the Senate votes on legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired.
Kobes is the first judge in U.S. history to be confirmed by the Senate with a tie-breaking vote from the vice president, according to CBS News.
With @VP breaking a 50-50 tie, Jonathan A. Kobes has been confirmed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) December 11, 2018
That's 30 new circuit court judges now on the bench under Trump/McConnell juggernaut, with an assist to Harry Reid.
The judge was considered to be somewhat controversial after the American Bar Association rated Kobes “not qualified” for the bench, arguing that he has "neither the requisite experience nor evidence of his ability to fulfill the scholarly writing required of a United States Circuit Court Judge.”
The ABA said Kobes, 44, had not submitted enough writing samples to prove he had the professional caliber for the appointment. Most of his writing samples were from his early days as a lawyer or about "relatively simple criminal law matters," and none were "reflective of complex legal analysis," the ABA said.
"Mr. Kobes is a very accomplished, competent, and capable person, but his career path has not resulted in sufficient evidence of a developed ability to do the written work of a United States Circuit Court Judge," the association said. (CBS News)
Kobes, a Harvard Law School graduate, is the fourth Trump judicial nominee to be confirmed that the ABA rated as “not qualified.”