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How long do federal judges serve in office?



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In the Federal Court system, judges of Article III (Constitutional) courts, which are limited to US District Courts, the US Court of International Trade, US Court of Appeals Circuit Courts, and the US Supreme Court are appointed to serve "during good behavior," meaning "for life," provided they don't commit an impeachable offense. Judges and justices may choose to resign or retire voluntarily, however.

Judges of US Special Courts (such as US Bankruptcy Court, Tax Court, US Court of Federal Claims, etc.) generally serve 15-year renewable terms of office; US Magistrates, who work in the District Courts but are not protected by Article III, serve 8-year renewable terms.