At age 53, Melgren becomes the youngest member of the federal bench in Kansas. His fellow judges range in age from 65 to 101.
Melgren quietly listened to his colleagues laud his many accomplishments throughout Friday's ceremony, but his own comments were more self-effacing.
He called his appointment a miracle, adding: "A miracle is unexplainable things happening to undeserving people. That is me.''
Melgren served as U.S. attorney in Kansas for nearly seven years. His appointment to the federal bench was confirmed by the Senate on Sept. 26.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)