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Brittany Lawonn, Published July 15 2009

Judge from Fargo worked with Sotomayor

If U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor wasn’t in Washington, D.C., undergoing Senate confirmation hearings this week, she’d be sitting next to a Fargo native hearing more than a dozen cases in New York.

Judge Richard W. Goldberg, 81, is sitting on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and was originally scheduled to hear cases along with Sotomayor.

Goldberg arrived in New York on Monday and will return to Detroit Lakes, Minn., where he spends his summers, on Friday, he said Tuesday from New York.

Nineteen cases are scheduled for oral argument over the next three days, along with 35 other cases that will not be argued, Goldberg said.

The federal judge has worked with Sotomayor before and thinks highly of her.

Goldberg has filled in for vacationing judges for the past 19 years. He is a senior judge on the nine-member U.S. Court of International Trade, to which he received a lifetime appointment in 1991.

Goldberg was born and raised in Fargo and now lives in Virginia, he said.

He was an assistant state’s attorney in Fargo from 1952 to 1954, served as a member of the North Dakota state Senate from 1966 to 1974, served as U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy undersecretary from 1983 to 1987 and was deputy undersecretary for international affairs and commodity programs from 1987 to 1989, according to Forum archives.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541