Earlier this year Judge Ralph Erickson was appointed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Donald Trump. Erickson had been serving as the United States District Court Judge for the District of North Dakota since 2003 when he was appointed by George W. Bush.
Erickson’s appointment to the appeals court was approved overwhelmingly by the U.S. Senate in September, but that leaves a vacancy in the district court slot.
A vacancy I’m told will more than likely be filled by Fargo Judge Wade Webb. Sources with knowledge of the matter tell me Webb is “on the short list” and will almost certainly be Trump’s choice.
Webb is currently a district court judge in North Dakota’s East Central Judicial District. It’s important to note that Webb was appointed to that position in 2003 by then-Governor John Hoeven. Hoeven is now a U.S. Senator and has a great deal of influence over Presidential appointments specific to North Dakota.
It’s also worth noting that Webb’s father, Rodney Webb, sat on the federal bench for the District of North Dakota as well having been appointed to that position by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
The younger Webb has been elected to his current post three times, in 2006, 2008, and most recently in 2014. The office has a six year term, but Webb’s appointment by Hoeven had to be confirmed by voters in 2006.
Webb was just 33 years old when Hoeven appointed him, the youngest of the state’s judges at the time.