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A judicial nominee faced no opposition Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that could lead to him becoming the first openly gay man to serve as a federal judge.
New York attorney J. Paul Oetken was recommended to President Barack Obama by Sen. Charles Schumer. If confirmed, he would be assigned as a U.S. district judge for the southern district of New York.
"Paul is the first openly gay man to go through an Article III confirmation process in this country, which makes this moment historic," Schumer said according to the Washington Blade."But long after today, what the history books will note about Paul is certain to be his achievements as a fair and brilliant judge."
Oetken is currently general counsel for Cablevision and previously served as associate counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1999 to 2001. According to the Blade, Oetken also has worked with Lambda Legal, the American Civl Liberties Union, and coauthored a amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court for Lawrence v. Texas, the lawsuit that resulted in the overturn of sodomy laws.