FARGO, N.D. — The Senate Judiciary committee has unanimously approved U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

North Dakota’s U.S. senators, John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, announced Erickson’s approval Thursday.

The committee approval is the final step before the full Senate votes on Erickson’s nomination.

President Donald Trump nominated Erickson in June. He’s served in various judicial positions for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2003, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal judge.

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