Report: Questions raised about judicial nomination for Schumer's brother-in-law

The White House's nomination of Kevin McNulty for a federal judgeship did not garner much attention, but now some anonymous voices are griping about McNulty's connection to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

McNulty is married to Schumer’s sister, Fran, although the White House's announcement of his nomination for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on Dec. 16 did not state the relationship as such. 

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A New York Post report suggests that McNulty was chosen because of his relationship to Schumer, saying he was a surprise nomination who hadn’t been named as a contender for the position until a last-minute submission by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

“McNulty came out of left field,” the Post quoted one unnamed source. “McNulty’s not a dumb guy, but people were just, like, ‘How’d that happen?’ ”

Lautenberg's office denies the claim.

“It is complete fiction to suggest that there was any deal or that Kevin McNulty was brought into the process at the last minute,” Lautenberg spokesman Caley Gray told the Post

Gray said McNulty won the nomination solely based on merits, and that Lautenberg didn’t know about the Schumer connection when he first began considering McNulty in 2009.

The Post's anonymous sources called the move a “naked political maneuver” by Lautenberg to curry favor with Schumer.

“Chuck Schumer has supported Frank Lautenberg through thick and thin, both in primaries and general elections,” Schumer spokesman Mike Morey told the Post. “It’s laughable to think he wouldn’t support him in the future.”

The judgeship carries life tenure and pays $174,000 a year.

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