What is an Article III Judge?

Under Article III of the Constitution, judges may serve the District Courts, Court of appeals, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the Supreme Court. The following are some of the most important regulations and terms that federally-appointed judges under Article III abide by.

Assigning Cases

Three-judge panels in the Court of Appeals will generally assign cases on a random or rotation-based basis, but different circumstances will call for different standards. In some scenarios, the geographic area or context of the case may determine how cases are assigned.

Assigning cases on factors such as geography, subject matter, rotation and random assignment ideally lowers the chance of judges being cherry-picked for nothing more than the likelihood of a favorable ruling.

In the event that a judge has any immediate family members who in either party of a case that they are assigned, they are required to withdraw.

Standards for equitable judging and public relations

Under normal circumstances, the Code of Conduct for United States Judges serves as a power check for all judges who don’t have life tenure. Under no circumstances is a judge to give the impression that they’ll be more likely to prefer one party in a case to the other party from the outset.

An Article III Judge, upon being granted their position, is given a tenure that more or less equates to a lifelong arrangement. During their tenure, the Article III Judge’s base pay will not be lowered beneath the established rate.

The untouched pay rate and indefinite tenure, ideally, should make it easier for the judge to give rulings that may be fair but relatively unpopular. The judge’s benefits are given to ensure that they’re not more compelled by the court of public opinion than the regulations of the judicial system.

In addition to the restrictions on biased rulings in the courtroom itself, Article III judges are not permitted to advise the public on office candidates to vote for. Judges are not permitted to use their status as leverage for asking any civilians to pledge toward fundraisers for causes of any kind.

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Financial disclosure

Article III judges are required to remain transparent in their financial matters. In addition to annual earnings, judges must also make a point to reveal all of the board memberships and stocks that they hold.

Requirements to become an Article III judge

Unlike a number of other judge variations, federally-appointed Article III judges are not required to have worked as lawyers before earning the title. Though there are relatively few formal requirements, number of Article III judges worked as professors and attorneys before taking office.

Terms of termination

A judge appointed under Article III might be terminated if the Congress finds it necessary to impeach them. The process of convicting a judge appointed under Article III is not swift, but it can be completed under the necessary circumstances.

There haven’t been many times an Article III judge has been deemed necessary to terminate by Congress. For the most part, judges appointed under Article III will usually hold their title just as long as they wish continue serving.


Article III Judges are given lifelong tenure and undiminished pay to facilitate consistently fair and objective judging habits. Though their appointment is relatively informal, the equability of their rulings are taken quite seriously.