Minnesota man is 2nd American Indian magistrate judge

Duluth, Minnesota (AP) November 2010

Leo Brisbois has become the first American Indian to serve as a U.S. magistrate judge in Minnesota.

The 48-year-old Iron Range native is also only the second American Indian to ever hold the position in the nation.

He is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indians. Magistrate judges assist U.S. district judges in getting cases ready for trial.

Magistrate judges may decide some criminal and civil trials when both parties agree to have the case heard by a magistrate judge.

The Duluth News Tribune reported that Brisbois held an eagle feather as he took the oath Friday. He replaces Raymond Erickson, who retired this summer.