(1)The chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces shall be the judge of the court in regular active service who is senior in commission among the judges of the court who—
(A)have served for one or more years as judges of the court; and
(B)have not previously served as chief judge.
(2)In any case in which there is no judge of the court in regular active service who has served as a judge of the court for at least one year, the judge of the court in regular active service who is senior in commission and has not served previously as chief judge shall act as the chief judge.
(3)Except as provided in paragraph (4), a judge of the court shall serve as the chief judge under paragraph (1) for a term of five years. If no other judge is eligible under paragraph (1) to serve as chief judge upon the expiration of that term, the chief judge shall continue to serve as chief judge until another judge becomes eligible under that paragraph to serve as chief judge.
(A)The term of a chief judge shall be terminated before the end of five years if—
(i)the chief judge leaves regular active service as a judge of the court; or
(ii)the chief judge notifies the other judges of the court in writing that such judge desires to be relieved of his duties as chief judge.
(B)The effective date of a termination of the term under subparagraph (A) shall be the date on which the chief judge leaves regular active service or the date of the notification under subparagraph (A)(ii), as the case may be.
(5)If a chief judge is temporarily unable to perform his duties as a chief judge, the duties shall be performed by the judge of the court in active service who is present, able and qualified to act, and is next in precedence.
(b) Precedence of Judges.— The chief judge of the court shall have precedence and preside at any session that he attends. The other judges shall have precedence and preside according to the seniority of their original commissions. Judges whose commissions bear the same date shall have precedence according to seniority in age.
(c) Status of Certain Positions.—
(1)Attorney positions of employment under the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces are excepted from the competitive service. A position of employment under the court that is provided primarily for the service of one judge of the court, reports directly to the judge, and is a position of a confidential character is excepted from the competitive service. Appointments to positions referred to in the preceding sentences shall be made by the court, without the concurrence of any other officer or employee of the executive branch, in the same manner as appointments are made to other executive branch positions of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to examine or to hold a competitive examination. Such positions shall not be counted as positions of that character for purposes of any limitation on the number of positions of that character provided in law.
(2)In making appointments to the positions described in paragraph (1), preference shall be given, among equally qualified persons, to persons who are preference eligibles (as defined in section
2108(3) of title
1997—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–85made technical amendment to heading and substituted “under the court” for “under the Court” in second sentence and “positions referred to in the preceding sentences” for “such positions” in third sentence.
1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–201substituted “Certain” for “Attorney” in heading and inserted “A position of employment under the Court that is provided primarily for the service of one judge of the court, reports directly to the judge, and is a position of a confidential character is excepted from the competitive service.” after first sentence in par. (1).
1994—Subsecs. (a)(1), (c). Pub. L. 103–337substituted “Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces” for “Court of Military Appeals”.
1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–484amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Chief Judge.—The President shall designate from time to time one of the judges of the United States Court of Military Appeals to be chief judge of the court.”
Pub. L. 102–484, div. A, title X, § 1061(b),Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2504, provided that: “For purposes of section
943(a) (article 943(a)) of title 10, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a)—
“(1) the person serving as the chief judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals [now United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces] on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 23, 1992] shall be deemed to have been designated as the chief judge under such section; and
“(2) the five-year term provided in paragraph (3) of such section shall be deemed to have begun on the date on which such judge was originally designated as the chief judge under section
943 of title
10, United States Code, as the case may be, as that provision of law was in effect on the date of the designation.”
Inapplicability of Subsection (c)
Subsec. (c) of this section not to be applied to change civil service status of any attorney who is an employee of United States Court of Military Appeals [now United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces] on Nov. 28, 1989, see section 1301(h) ofPub. L. 101–189, set out as a Transitional Provisions note under section
942 of this title.
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