Missouri Supreme Court Judge Duane Benton received a warm reception Thursday from the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.
Benton, formerly of Cape Girardeau, is President Bush's nominee for a lifetime appointment to the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Benton's family lived in Cape Girardeau from 1970 to 1988. Although he spent time away at school and serving in the military, he called the family house on Cape Rock Drive home during much of that period.
Missouri Republican Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent introduced Benton to the committee, which will vote on Benton's nomination later.
The committee recently approved the nomination of U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender for another vacancy on the 8th Circuit, sending the matter to the full Senate for approval. Gruender is top federal prosecutor for the eastern district of Missouri.
Benton has served on the state's highest court since 1991, when he was appointed by then-Gov. John Ashcroft, a Republican who is now the U.S. attorney general. Before that, Benton was Ashcroft's revenue director.