Plenary Address Sunday, July 8, 7:30 pm
Title & Location to be Announced
In 2005 Judge Jones presided over the
landmark case of Kitzmiller
v. Dover School District,
which he held that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent
design within a public school science curriculum.
Judge John E. Jones III began his service
as a United States District Judge on August 2, 2002. He
is the 21st
judge to sit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Judge
Jones was appointed to his current position by President
George W. Bush in February, 2002, and was unanimously confirmed
by the United States Senate on July 30, 2002.
was born and raised in Schuylkill County, which is part
of the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania.
He is a graduate of the Mercersburg Academy, Dickinson
College, and the Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania
In 1980 Judge Jones began his legal career as a law clerk
to the President Judge of Schuylkill County, the Honorable
Guy A. Bowe. Subsequently, Judge Jones joined the firm
of Dolbin & Cori, and upon his achieving the status
of partner, the name of the firm was changed to Dolbin,
Cori & Jones. In 1986, Judge Jones formed his own law
firm, John Jones & Associates, where he continued to
practice until the time of his elevation to the federal
bench. During a career as a trial lawyer which spanned
nearly twenty-two years, Judge Jones represented thousands
of clients from all walks of life. He was an experienced
litigator, practicing in state and federal tribunals across
Pennsylvania. He served as solicitor for several municipalities,
including the city of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Judge Jones
also served as a part-time assistant public defender for
Schuylkill County. For the last ten years of his practice,
Judge Jones served as counsel to the Reading, Pennsylvania
based law firm of Roland & Schlegel.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Jones had numerous public
and private affiliations. These included service as a member
of the Board of Directors of the Union Bank and Trust Company
of Pottsville, state attorney for the D.A.R.E. program
(Drug Abuse Resistance Education), and chairman of a local
foundation which awarded scholarships to high school students
based upon vocal music ability. He has served as an Assistant
Scoutmaster, and has been extensively involved with both
the local and national Boy Scouts of America.
In November, 1994, Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Ridge
named Judge Jones as a co-chair of his transition team.
Subsequently, in May 1995, Governor Ridge nominated Judge
Jones to fill a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control
Board, which is the largest state liquor monopoly in the
United States. After his unanimous confirmation by the
Pennsylvania State Senate, Governor Ridge appointed Judge
Jones Chairman of the Board. Judge Jones served as Chairman
of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a total of
seven years and two months, until he assumed his current
duties. During his tenure on the Liquor Control Board,
Judge Jones implemented substantial changes in liquor licensing
procedures which were designed to both streamline and shorten
the process. These included use of the internet to apply
for and renew liquor licenses. He managed a workforce of
over four thousand people, and administered a budget in
excess of one billion dollars. Judge Jones also gained
national attention in the area of alcohol education, with
particular emphasis on underage drinking at college campuses,
as well as drunk driving. In November 2000, Judge Jones’ contributions
were recognized when he received the Government Leadership
Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving
in Washington, D.C. At the time of his appointment to the
bench, Judge Jones was a board member, and president elect,
of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA).
Judge Jones has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award
from the Dickinson School of Law, as well as an honorary
doctorate in law and public policy from Dickinson College.
In May, 2006 Judge Jones was named by Time Magazine as
one of its Time 100, the one hundred most influential people
in the world. Judge Jones has also received a Rave Award
for Policy from Wired Magazine. In 2006 Judge Jones was
the recipient of the first John Marshall Judicial Independence
Award, which will be presented annually by the Pennsylvania
Bar Association. Judge Jones has presided over several
noteworthy and high profile cases. In 2003 Judge Jones
struck down portions of Shippensburg University’s
speech code on the basis that they violated the First Amendment’s
free speech guarantee. In that same year Judge Jones ruled,
in a decision later affirmed by the United States Supreme
Court, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
statute assessing milk producers in order to fund advertising,
including the Milk Mustache/got milk® campaign did
not infringe the free speech rights of the producers.
In 2005 Judge Jones presided over the landmark case of Kitzmiller
v. Dover School District, after which he held
that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design
within a public school science curriculum.
Judge Jones resides in his native Pottsville, and has
been married to his wife Beth Ann since 1982. They are
the parents of daughter Meghan, and son John.
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