Perhaps we are parochially biased, but Missouri Supreme Court Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. appears to be eminently qualified to serve as a U.S. district court judge. Limbaugh has had an outstanding legal career: third-generation lawyer, legal scholar, Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney, circuit judge and, since 1992, Missouri Supreme Court judge, including a stint as chief justice.
A lot of other folks also think Limbaugh is ready to move up, including President Bush, who nominated him. And reams of information about his legal decisions have been forwarded to Washington as part of the preliminary process for confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
If anything could stop Limbaugh's confirmation, it would be presidential politics. With the election under a year away, there are fears that the Democrat-controlled Senate will try to hold up all federal appointments in hopes that a Democrat will be moving to the White House in January 2009. That would be a shame, and it would needlessly delay the addition of a fine jurist to the federal bench.
Limbaugh's father, Stephen N. Limbaugh Sr., currently serves on the U.S. district court and would be required to retire if his son is confirmed. The younger Limbaugh's confirmation also could possibly be a step toward getting a federal judge assigned full time to the federal courthouse here in Cape Girardeau.
We wish Limbaugh well during the coming confirmation process.