What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
Are federal courts increasingly overstepping boundaries?
By Candy Arrington
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. – Proverbs 21:15
When the Founding Fathers established our system of government, they provided for three equal branches—executive, legislative, and judicial. Each branch has specific authority and restrictions designed to balance power and prevent any one branch from taking control of the government.
However, in recent weeks, a federal court in California quashed President Trump's executive order, which prohibited immigrants from seven countries from entering the United States for a 120-day period. During this period, the goal was to improve the vetting process for immigrants, not halt them forever. Yet the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has an 80% reversal rate before the U. S. Supreme Court and is often referred to as the "rogue court," struck down President Trump's executive order. Was the President within the parameters of his authority? Did this lower federal court overstep its power?
The powers given to the President of the United States, as delineated in the Constitution, include:
- serve as commander-in-chief of the army and navy and any state militias when called into the service of the United States;
- power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment;
- power to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint government department heads, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and judges to state federal courts and the U. S. Supreme Court;
- fill vacancies in the Senate; inform Congress of the state of the union;
- convene both houses of congress, or either house; veto congressional legislation;
- receive ambassadors and other public ministers;
- take care that laws be faithfully executed;
- commission officers of the United States; issue executive orders, which have the full force of law and do not have to be approved by Congress; and
- oversee matters of national defense.
Judicial Powers and Qualifications
The judicial branch of government consists of the United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts.
Federal courts have the power of judicial review, interpreting laws for constitutionality. Additionally, federal courts decide cases involving the laws and treaties of U.S. ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, maritime law, and bankruptcy cases. Decisions of the lower federal courts are often appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court justices interpret laws and render opinions. They have the ability to strike down laws already in place. Surprisingly, the qualifications to serve on the country's highest court are not addressed in the Constitution. Justices do not have to be American born, be a certain age, have a certain profession, or hold a law degree. While most have some experience in public service, it's interesting that those not trained in the law have the power to decide the constitutionality of laws and overturn them. Supreme Court justices serve until they retire, resign, die, or are impeached, thus making the appointment of fair and unbiased justices extremely important.
President Trump is not the first to issue an executive order regarding immigration and he acted within the power of the executive branch in doing so. However, following the Appeals Court’s lead, federal courts in several states blocked federal authorities from enforcing President Trump's executive order restricting immigration from these seven countries.
The judicial branch of government was given specific powers by the Constitution, powers which have been reinterpreted and stretched far beyond the original intent, creating the idea that the judicial branch is superior to the executive and legislative branches.
Article VI of the Constitution states that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, but increasingly, a court's interpretation of the law is deemed paramount. Only by speaking out and supporting the appointment of federal court judges and Supreme Court justices who will interpret laws based on Constitutional law rather than being swayed by special interest groups, prevailing popular opinions, or their own personal preferences can Americans be involved in thwarting judicial supremacy.
- The appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court justices with a history of interpreting the law in light of the Constitution
- An end to continuing unrest and disunity throughout the country
- Accurate and impartial reporting of the news
- Those who are being maligned for a conservative Christian worldview
Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles on tough topics for a wide variety of publications and enjoys teaching and speaking on these topics.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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