Every judge appointed to such a court may be categorized as a federal judge; such positions include the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Circuit Judges of the courts of appeals, and district judges of the United States district courts. All of these judges described thus far are referred to sometimes as "Article III judges" because they exercise the judicial power vested in the judicial branch of the federal government by Article III of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, judges of the Court of International Trade exercise judicial power pursuant to Article III.
Other judges serving in the federal courts, including magistrate judges and bankruptcy judges, are also sometimes referred to as "federal judges"; however, they are neither appointed by the President nor confirmed by the Senate, and their power
The primary function of the federal judges is to resolve matters brought before the United States federal courts. Most federal courts in the United States are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning that they hear only cases for which jurisdiction is authorized by the United States constitution or federal statutes. However, federal district courts are authorized to hear a wide range of civil and criminal cases. District Court judges are recognized as having a certain degree of inherent authority to manage the matters before them, ranging from setting the dates for trials and hearings to holding parties in contempt or otherwise sanctioning them for improper behavior. In other circumstances their actions are dictated by federal law, the federal rules of procedure, or "local" rules created by the specific court system itself.