When the office of clerk is vacant, the deputy clerks shall perform the duties of the clerk in the name of the last person who held that office. When the clerk is incapacitated, absent, or otherwise unavailable to perform official duties, the deputy clerks shall perform the duties of the clerk in the name of the clerk. The court may designate a deputy clerk to act temporarily as clerk of the court in his or her own name.
28 U.S. Code § 954. Vacancy in clerk position; absence of clerk
Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 8, 222 and 327 (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §§ 4, 125, 221, 36 Stat. 1087, 1132, 1153).
Sections 8, 222 and 327 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., related only to district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, respectively. This section applies to all Federal courts and is in conformity with section 548  of this title relating to death of a United States marshal.
The provision for continuance of the salary of the clerk of the Supreme Court until his successor is appointed and qualifies was inserted to preserve existing law as declared in the unpublished opinion of Chief Justice Taft, March 23, 1932 (filed in the Department of Justice), with respect to a deceased clerk of the Supreme Court.
1996—Pub. L. 104–317 substituted “Vacancy in clerk position; absence of clerk” for “Death of clerk; duties of deputies” in section catchline and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:
“Upon the death of any clerk of court, his deputy or deputies shall execute the duties of the deceased clerk in his name until his successor is appointed and qualifies.
“The compensation of a deceased clerk of the Supreme Court may be paid to his personal representatives until his successor is appointed and qualifies.”
1972—Pub. L. 92–310 struck out “and remedies against” before “deputies” in section catchline and repealed provisions which related to the default or misfeasance of a deputy in connection with the bond of a deceased clerk of a Federal court.