Cronyism at its worst.

(Politico) — Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) brother-in-law was quietly nominated by President Barack Obama to a federal judgeship in New Jersey, even though the state’s senior senator, Frank Lautenberg, was leaning toward other candidates, according to a report Monday.

Kevin McNulty, who is married to Schumer’s sister, was nominated for the $174,000-a-year lifetime post in the U.S. District Court on Dec. 16, according to the New York Post.

“McNulty came out of left field,” the Post quoted someone involved in New Jersey’s judicial politics as saying. “McNulty’s not a dumb guy, but people were just, like, ‘How’d that happen?’ ”

The paper’s sources suggested the nomination was a nod by Lautenberg to Schumer, in a bid to stave off opposition from Schumer and other Democratic leaders to the 87-year-old Lautenberg running for reelection in 2014.