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

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