Rounds Touts Jon Kobes’ Sound Counsel, Wide Range of Experience During Confirmation Hearing to be Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Jon Kobes, of Sioux Falls, has served as Rounds’ General Counsel since 2014
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today introduced Jonathan A. Kobes at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kobes, of Sioux Falls, serves on Rounds’ staff as general counsel. If confirmed, he will replace Judge Roger Wollman as a Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
“It is through his experience and our interactions working together that I am confident he possesses the essential qualities needed to excel as a federal judge,” said Rounds. “Over the past two decades, Jon has served in all three branches of the federal government, he has litigated on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in court, has litigated both criminal and civil cases, and he has represented clients as counsel both outside and in-house. There are few with as wide a range of experience and as academically qualified as Jon.”
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:
I want to thank Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein for holding today’s hearing.
And I thank Senator Tillis and Senator Durbin for chairing, as well as allowing me to introduce a fellow South Dakotan, Jonathan Kobes, who also happens to be an integral member of my staff.
I also want to thank President Trump for nominating Jon as a Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. I enthusiastically support his nomination.
Today, Jon is joined by his father Wayne, his wife, Beth, their four children, Madeleine, Bethany, Johannah and James, in addition to other extended members of their family.
I welcome you all here today.
One member of Jon’s family who is not with us is his mother Helen, who passed away earlier this year after a 19-month battle with ALS.
Helen was a Dutch immigrant, landing at Ellis Island with her parents when she was just two years old.
Her family moved around until they settled in Southern California, where her father found a job as a laborer on a dairy farm.
Eventually, that immigrant, who came to the U.S. with nothing, while supporting a family of eight, was able to work his way up to owning and operating two successful dairy farms.
Seeking her own path to success in America, Helen eventually moved to Iowa to attend college – a first generation college student – where she met Jon’s father, Wayne, and they settled down to raise their family.
Helen was full of determination and grit whose own experience instilled Jon’s strong, unequivocal belief in the American dream.
Today, Jon is a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he has spent nearly two decades developing an impressive legal acumen that spans a broad range of legal experience.
In addition to working in the private sector, his experience in public service spans all three branches of the federal government.
Jon has diligently and reliably served as my general counsel since 2014.
Before joining my staff, Jon served as Director of Corporate Compliance at Raven Industries, Inc., as Senior Regulatory Counsel for DuPont Pioneer, and as Senior Counsel to POET, LLC.
In these positions, he managed a range of litigation, regulatory and administrative law matters.
He also provided complex legal advice and analysis to those major agricultural businesses within South Dakota.
Jon has also been a litigation associate in the Sioux Falls office of Murphy, Goldammer and Prendergast, where he appeared before both State and Federal Courts in South Dakota.
In the public sector, Jon served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, where he prosecuted narcotics offenses and violent crime on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
He also served as an Honors Attorney in the Litigation Division of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, in Washington, D.C.
But his first taste of public service was actually right here in the Senate, where, as a law student, he spent a summer working as an intern for this very committee.
Mr. Kobes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dordt College in Northwest Iowa and his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor and as the business manager of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.
Upon graduation from law school, Jon served as a law clerk to Judge Roger L. Wollman, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the very judge we hope Jon will replace.
Throughout his career, Jon has demonstrated his commitment to justice, the fair application of the law and the betterment of the community by providing pro-bono legal services to those in need.
Before and during his time working for me, I have always been impressed with Jon’s experience, competence, temperament, and ability to get work done in a thorough and conscientious manner.
As my general counsel, I have had the privilege of his superior writing skills, thoughtful analysis, and ability to explain and present several sides of an issue fairly.
It is through his experience and our interactions working together that I am confident he possesses the essential qualities needed to excel as a federal judge.
Over the past two decades, Jon has served in all three branches of the federal government, he has litigated on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in court, has litigated both criminal and civil cases, and he has represented clients as counsel both outside and in-house.
There are few with as wide a range of experience and as academically qualified as Jon.
I wholeheartedly support Jon’s nomination as a Circuit Judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and hope you will support his nomination as well.
Thank you for holding this hearing.
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