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Within hours of the announcement Thursday that President Bush was appointing Missouri Supreme Court Justice Stephen Limbaugh Jr. to a judgeship on the Eastern District of Missouri, questions arose in the media and in blogs like “How Appealing.” But it’s not because the nominee is conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh’s cousin.

The issue instead was that, if confirmed, Limbaugh would serve on the same court with his father, Senior Judge Stephen Limbaugh — an apparent violation of the law barring nepotism on the federal judiciary, 28 U.S.C. 458. That law forbids appointment or employment of anyone who is closer than a cousin to a judge — even a senior judge — on any federal court.

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