Federal Judges

books about judges techniques

In the United States, there are two types of judges; state judges and federal judges. State judges deal with cases involving common disputes of the particular state. These include cases like robbery and murder among others. Federal judges, on the other hand mostly deal with cases involving the United States Constitution or where the country is one of the parties involved. Federal judges are divided into Article I judges and Article III judges.

Article I judges derive their power from an article I of the Constitution while their counterparts derive their power from Article III of the Constitution. Examples of Article I judges are magistrate judges and judges of bankruptcy courts or United States Court of Tax. Article III judges include the chief justice and associate judges of the Supreme Court.

Selection and Tenure

Article III judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They usually serve for life unless they die, resign or are impeached. Article I judges, on the other hand, do not serve for life. They have no tenure and serve for a specific amount of time. They are appointed by Congress or chosen by Article III judges.

Salaries and Retirement

Article III judges can earn up to $200,000 per year. Their salaries are secured by federal law. Article I judges get less than this, and their salaries can be reduced by Congress. The retirement of Article III judges is governed by what is known as “The Rule of 80”. This means as from age 65 a judge can retire or serve 15 more years then take senior status. A judge who retires at age 70 can continue to serve for 10 more years before taking senior status.

In short, eventually, your age should not be more than 80 when you take senior status. Fortunately, these judges are paid their last salary on retirement for the rest of their lives. Article I judges, however, have no such privilege. They usually serve for about 15 years after which they are not entitled to any salary


If someone files a complaint against a federal judge, the chief judge of the circuit can either dismiss the complaint or create a committee to investigate if the complaint holds any truth to it. A comprehensive written report should also be submitted by this committee reporting the findings. Recommendations for possible actions are also taken into consideration.

At the Rick Zimmer Law Firm, we think it is important that all of clients have access to the knowledge and resources that we do. This is why we continue post new information to our blog, as we aim to educate everyone before taking any case to trial. Most of the time, we deal with state judges as we are a local firm in Charlotte. However, we have handled a number of federal cases over the years, so it is always important to freshen up on the differences with the courts and of course the judges. If you have any questions about these differences, or would like to know more, you can visit our contact page or call us anytime at 704-493-2985.