Article III, § 1, of the United States Constitution provides that “The Judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” ( U.S. Const., Art. III, § 1.) Among the legislative powers granted to Congress is the power “To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court.” (U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8.) This Court, which is called the “United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania,” is such an “inferior” federal tribunal. Congress has allotted ten seats to this Court. (28 U.S.C. § 133.) Article III judges are appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate. (U.S. Const., Art. II, § 2.) They “hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” which means that they enjoy life tenure unless they are “removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” (U.S. Const., Art. III, § 1; U.S. Const., Art. II, § 4.)
Judges who have reached a certain age and served for a specified number of years on the federal bench are said to reach “senior status.”
Senior Judge Bloch resides in Courtroom 8C and was also appointed by President James E. Carter on November 2, 1979. He assumed senior status on April 12, 1997. Judge Bloch has a sister who serves as a state court judge in California.