Senate confirms Michael McShane, Oregon's newest federal judge - and makes a little history

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Senate confirms Michael McShane, Oregon's newest federal judge - and makes a little history

Judge Michael McShane, a Multnomah County circuit court judge, was confirmed unanimously by voice vote on Monday by the U.S. Senate as Oregon's newest federal judge. He'll take the federal district court seat in Eugene vacated by the retired Judge Michael Hogan.

McShane is a former public defender who nonetheless got glowing recommendations from Multnomah County's longtime former DA, Mike Schrunk. That alone is rare, as public defenders rarely ascend to federal judgeships.

But the real history comes in the fact that McShane is the first openly-gay person named to the federal bench in Oregon -- and only the sixth in American history. Five of those six have been nominated by President Obama.

McShane was only nominated in September, which might seem to suggest that the process of approving judicial nominees might be speeding up. We can only hope.

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