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Fargo judge sworn into U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

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FARGO, N.D. — In a ceremonial robing, Judge Ralph Erickson has taken a position on the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

He was sworn in during a ceremonial investiture Friday.

After 24 years serving as a federal judge, Erickson has presided over nearly 500 cases.

He says the job wasn't always his dream.

"I never really wanted to be a judge, and a friend of mine at one point asked me if I would fill in and do some judicial work for 3 months," says Erickson. "That was 24 years ago and I'm still doing it."

Friday afternoon, judges and state representatives filled Sanctuary Events Center in his honor.

Many were proud to sing his praises.

"He's an incredible guy," says North Dakota Senator, John Hoeven. "But he's got a tremendous record in the law."

"Ralph Erickson is a child of God who treats all his children of god, respectfully, honorably, and with empathy," adds Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

Erickson has actually been sitting on the court since October

He was nominated by President Donald Trump, and replaced retired Judge Kermit Bye.

The investiture was just a ceremony to celebrate, but Erickson says it holds an important place history and law.

"I think it's an opportunity for the bench and the bar to celebrate a transition," says Erickson. "It's important because it signifies the courts are continuing in the same condition as they always have."

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals handles appeals from courts in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska.