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.

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