Good reminder here from Jonathan Adler:
A federal judge that has accumulated enough service via the Rule of 80 — this means your age plus your years on the federal bench equals 80 or more — can take senior status. Senior status means you can continue to hear cases, by negotiating a continuing workload agreement with the circuit’s senior judge, or you can fully retire if you prefer. In either event you get the full salary and benefits you were receiving before taking senior status. But the key thing is that, once you take senior status, a new judge is nominated to replace you on the bench.
BTW this all applies to Stephen Breyer as well, with the difference that if he wanted to continue to hear cases it would have to be on the circuit courts rather than at the SCOTUS. (One of the most infuriating things about Breyer’s reckless and narcissistic refusal to retire is that he doesn’t even have to retire in order to allow his SCOTUS seat to be filled by somebody 30 or 40 years younger than his 83-year-old self).
Federal judges who despise the ongoing takeover of the judiciary by Federalist Society Nexus 6 models and are eligible for senior status are behaving every bit as irresponsibly as Breyer if they don’t take it now, given that the Senate could easily flip in January of 2023. At that point the GOP will blockade pretty much every Biden circuit court nomination, and as many district court nominations as they can get away with.