28 U.S. Code § 45. Chief judges; precedence of judges
Subsection (a), providing for “chief judge,” is new. Such term is adopted to replace the term “senior circuit judge” in recognition of the great increase in administrative duties of such judge.
Subsection (b) conforms with section 4 of this title relating to precedence of associate justices of the Supreme Court, and consolidates the provisions of the second and third sentences of section 216 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed. The designation when filed in the court of appeals will not only record the transfer of function from the relieved chief judge to his successor, but will also determine the question of willingness of the successor to serve.
Subsection (c) is new.
Subsection (d) is based on section 216a of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.
The official status of the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia holding office on the effective date of the act is preserved by section 2 of the bill to enact revised Title 28.
Changes were made in phraseology.
1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–164, § 201(a), designated existing first sentence of subsec. (a) as par. (1), substituted “The chief judge of the circuit shall be the circuit judge in regular active service who is senior in commission of those judges who—(A) are sixty-four years of age or under; (B) have served for one year or more as a circuit judge; and (C) have not served previously as chief judge” for “The circuit judge in regular active service who is senior in commission and under seventy years of age shall be the chief judge of the circuit” in par. (1) as so designated, designated existing second sentence of subsec. (a) as par. (2)(A), substituted “In any case in which no circuit judge meets the qualifications of paragraph (1), the youngest circuit judge in regular active service who is sixty-five years of age or over and who has served as circuit judge for one year or more shall act as the chief judge” for “If all the circuit judges in regular active service are seventy years of age or older the youngest shall act as chief judge until a judge has been appointed and qualified who is under seventy years of age, but a judge may not act as chief judge until he has served as a circuit judge for one year” in par. (2)(A) as so designated, and added pars. (2)(B) and (3).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–164, § 201(b), amended subsec. (c) generally, substituting “the chief judge of the circuit shall be such other circuit judge who is qualified to serve or act as chief judge under subsection (a)” for “the circuit judge in active service next in precedence and willing to serve shall be designated by the Chief Justice as the chief judge of the circuit”.
1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–593 provided that chief judges of circuit courts cease to serve as such upon reaching the age of seventy, that the youngest circuit judge act as chief judge where all circuit judges in regular active service are seventy years or older until a judge under seventy has been appointed and qualified, and that circuit judge must have served one year before acting as chief judge.
1951—Subsec. (a). Act Oct. 31, 1951, inserted “in active service who is”.