President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Michael McShane to a seat on the Federal District Court in Oregon.

McShane, 51, has been a judge on the Mulnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon since 2001. He previously served as a judge pro tempore on the same court from 1997 to 2001.

He served nearly a decade as a public defender at the Office of the Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland, Oregon prior to becoming a judge.

In 2012, he was awarded the Oregon State Bar President's Public Service Award.

McShane graduated with honors in 1988 from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College.

According to a blog post from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), McShane's nomination is supported by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

Wyden called the nomination an “excellent choice.”

“Michael's background as a judge, a public defender and adjunct law professor makes this a well-earned appointment that I believe deserves quick confirmation by the Senate,” Wyden said.

If confirmed, McShane would become the first openly gay federal judge in Oregon.