(a) NUMBER. The United States Court of Military Appeals consists of five judges.
(b) APPOINTMENT; QUALIFICATION.
(1) Each judge of the court shall be appointed from civil life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a specified term determined under paragraph (2). A judge may serve as a senior judge as provided in subsection (e).
(2) The term of a judge shall expire as follows:
(A) In the case of a judge who is appointed after March 31 and before October 1 of any year, the term shall expire on September 30 of the year in which the fifteenth anniversary of the appointment occurs.
(B) In the case of a judge who is appointed after September 30 of any year and Before April 1 of the following year, the term shall expire fifteen years after such September 30.
(3) Not more than three of the judges may be appointed from the same political party, and no person may be appointed to be judge of the court unless the person is a member of the bar of a Federal court or the highest court of a State.
(c) REMOVAL. Judges of the court may be removed from office by the President, upon notice and hearing, for–
(1) neglect of duty;
(2) misconduct; or
(3) mental or physical disability.
A judge may not be removed by the President for any other cause.
(d) PAY AND ALLOWANCES. Each judge of the court is entitled to the same salary and travel allowances as are, and from the time may be, provided for judges of the United States Courts of Appeals.
(e) SENIOR JUDGES.
(1) A former judge of the court who is receiving retired pay or annuity under section 945 of this title (article 145) or under subchapter III of chapter 83 or chapter 84 title 5 shall be a senior judge.
(A) The chief judge of the court may call upon a senior judge of the court, with the consent of the senior judge, to perform judicial duties with the court–
(i) during a period a judge of the court is unable to perform his duties because of illness or other disability;
(ii) during a period in which a position of judge of the court is vacant; or
(iii) in any case in which a judge of the court recuses himself.
(B) A senior judge shall be paid for each day on which he performs judicial duties with the court an amount equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of pay provided for a judge of the court. Such pay shall be in lieu of retired pay and in lieu of an annuity under section 945 of this title (Article 145), subchapter III of chapter 83 or subchapter II of chapter 84 of title 5, or any other retirement system for employees of the Federal Government.
(3) A senior judge, while performing duties referred to in paragraph (2), shall be provided with such office space and staff assistance as the chief judge considers appropriate and shall be entitled to the per diem, travel allowances, and other allowances provided for judges of the court.
(4) A senior judge shall be considered to be an officer or employee of the United States with respect to his status as a senior judge, but only during periods the senior judge is performing duties referred to in paragraph (2). For the purposes of section 205 of title 18, a senior judge shall be considered to be a special Government employee during such periods. Any provision of law that prohibits or limits the political or business activities of an employee of the United States shall apply to a senior judge only during such periods.
(5) The court shall prescribe rules for the use and conduct of senior judges of the court. The chief judge of the court shall transmit such rules, and any amendments to such rules, to the Committees on Armed Services of Senate and House of Representatives not later than 15 days after the issuance of such rules or amendments, as the case may be.
(6) For the purposes of subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5 (relating to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability System) and chapter 84 of such title (relating to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System) and for purposes of any other Federal Government retirement system for employees of the Federal Government–
(A) a period during which a senior judge performs duties referred to in paragraph (2) shall not be considered creditable service.
(B) no amount shall be withheld from the pay of a senior judge as a retirement contribution under section 8334, 8343, 8342, or 8432 of title 5 or under other such retirement system for any period during which the senior judge performs duties refereed to in paragraph (2);
(C) no contribution shall be made by the Federal Government to any retirement system with respect to a senior judge for any period during which the senior judge performs duties referred to in paragraph (2); and
(D) a senior judge shall not be considered to a re employed annuitant for any period during which the senior judge performs duties referred to in paragraph (2).
(f) SERVICE OF ARTICLE III JUDGES.
(1) the Chief Justice of the United States, upon the request of the chief judge of the court, may designate a judge of a United States court of appeals or of a United States district court to perform the duties of judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals–
(A) during a period a judge of the court is unable to perform his duties because of illness or other disability; or
(B) in any case in which a judge of the court recuses himself.
(2) A designation under paragraph (1) may be made only with the consent of the designated judge and the concurrence of the chief judge of the court of appeals or district court concerned.
(3) Per diem, travel allowances, and other allowances paid to the designated judge in connection with the performance of duties for the court shall be paid from funds available for the payment of per diem and such allowances for judges of the court.
(g) EFFECT OF VACANCY ON COURT. A vacancy on the court does not impair the right of the remaining judges to exercise the powers of the court.