The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa is a two judgeship court, with lifetime appointments made by the President. There are currently two Article III judges, one senior judge and two magistrate judges who serve the Northern District of Iowa.
Federal magistrate judges are federal judges who serve in the United States district courts, but they are not appointed by the President and do not serve life terms. Magistrate judges are assigned duties by the district judges. They may preside over most phases of federal proceedings, except for criminal felony trials. Full-time magistrate judges serve for renewable terms of eight years.