Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Ralph Erickson?

Ralph R. Erickson is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Age:  58 (approximate)

Current Position:  U.S. District Court Judge, District of North Dakota

Education:

  • B.A., Jamestown College (1980)

  • J.D., The University of North Dakota Law School (1984)

Experience:

  • 1984-1994:  Associate, Ohnstad Twichell, P.C.; solo practice (West Fargo, ND)

  • 1993-1994:  Magistrate Judge, Cass County Court (Fargo, ND)

  • 1994:  County Judge, Traill, Steele, Nelson & Griggs Counties Court, North Dakota

  • 1995-2003:  State District Judge, East Central Judicial District Court (Fargo, ND)

  • 2003-present:  U.S. District Court Judge, District of North Dakota

Notable matters

  • Judge Erickson was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota by President George W. Bush and was confirmed by unanimous consent.  

  • During his time in private practice, Judge Erickson was a trial lawyer and focused on personal injury, workers compensation, and divorce.  He also prosecuted for the City of West Fargo, North Dakota.  

  • In 2004, Judge Erickson presided over North Dakota’s first federal death penalty case, which was also the first death penalty case in North Dakota in over a century.

Biography:  Judge Erickson was born in Thief River, Minnesota and grew up in Rugby, North Dakota.  He is married and has two daughters.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

Most Popular

Elections

Story Time with David Brooks

His latest column imagines a future in which Elizabeth Warren wins the next presidential election. Warren won convincingly. The Democrats built a bigger majority in the House, and to general surprise, won a slim Senate majority of 52 to 48. After that election, the Republicans suffered a long, steady decline. ... Read More
Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Defaces Its Façade

The facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1902, contains four large niches that might display sculpture but have traditionally been left empty. This was prudent good taste on the Met's part, since sculpture on buildings is a tricky business that few artists in our age of ... Read More