The judges of the court are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Judges are appointed to the court for life under Article III of the Constitution of the United States. By statute, there are twelve judges in active service.
When eligible, judges may elect to take senior status, which allows them to continue to serve on the court while handling fewer cases than a judge in active service. Each judge in active service employs a judicial assistant and up to four law clerks, while each judge in senior status employs a judicial assistant and one law clerk.