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Gruender Being Tapped for Possible Judgeship

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis area's federal prosecutor may soon be the area's federal judge. U.S. Senator Kit Bond's office says U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender is undergoing background checks to potentially fill a vacancy on the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Bush picks nominees but generally follows the wishes of a state's senior Republican, such as Bond. The Senate must confirm the nomination.

Bond's spokesman, Ernie Blazar, said Gruender was one of a small handful of people Bond had recommended to fill one of the two appeals court posts. He confirmed Gruender was the only one of those recommended going through the background checks. Gruender declined comment.

Two years ago this month Bush nominated Gruender as the U.S. Attorney for Missouri's Eastern District. Gruender, now 40, was confirmed by the Senate two months later.

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