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Friday, January 30, 2015
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Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch is the only wing of government not directly elected by the populace. Instead of being elected, members of the Judicial Branch are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The head office of the American Judiciary is the United States Supreme Court. The Court is composed of 9 judges. There are no term limits to being a Supreme Court judge. A judge will leave office upon retirement or death, with death usually following closely upon retirement.

The Supreme Court is the highest of several federal courts where cases and appeals are brought before federal judges. These lower federal courts are arranged around the nation geographically. There are also 13 United States courts of appeals.

The main duty of the Judicial Branch is to interpret the Constitution as it applies to the laws of the nation. For instance, if Congress were to pass a law prohibiting equal protection under the law or refusing the right to assemble peaceably, the Supreme Court would be where Americans could challenge the Constitutional nature of that law.

It is imperative to keep the Judicial Branch in our prayers as they use ethical and moral standards to interpret America’s Constitution as it applies to her modern laws.

Featured Member of the Judicial Branch for Prayer

PrayFocusJudicialJustice Samuel Alito, Jr., Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. was born in April 1950 in Trenton, New Jersey, to Italian American parents. Alito grew up in Hamilton Township, New Jersey where he attended high school. He graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a B.A. in 1972. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975.

During his senior year at Princeton, Alito studied in Italy, where he wrote his thesis on the Italian legal system. His lofty yearbook aspirations recorded a hope to “eventually warm a seat on the Supreme Court.”

He served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps after his graduation and was on active duty from September to December 1975, while attending the Officer Basic Course for Signal Corp at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The remainder of his time in the Army was served in the inactive Reserve. He had the rank of Captain when he received an Honorable Discharge in 1980.

During 1977-1981, Alito was Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, where he prosecuted many cases that involved drug trafficking and organized crime. From 1981 to 1985, he was Assistant to the U. S. Solicitor General. He argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court for the federal government during his tenure there.

Alito was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and was confirmed by unanimous consent in April 1990. When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court, President George W. Bush nominated Alito to her seat on the Bench. The hearings were somewhat contentious but he was ultimately confirmed as the 110th justice and the second Italian American.

Alito is the eleventh Roman Catholic to serve on the Supreme Court. He is generally considered to be a conservative jurist with a libertarian streak, particularly on First Amendment issues related to religious affairs. He is married to Martha-Ann Bomgardner and they have two grown children.

IN THE NEWS: The Supreme Court Justices, on a 9-0 vote in a case involving an Arkansas prison inmate, rejected the state’s reasoning that their “no beards” policy was needed for security reasons. Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the prison’s “interest in eliminating contraband cannot sustain its refusal to allow petitioner to grow a half inch beard” in accordance with his Muslim convictions. “This is a huge win for religious freedom and for all Americans,’ said a lawyer for a religious rights legal group, adding, “More than 43 prison systems across the country allow prisoners to grow a half-inch beard, and at least 41 prison systems would allow even longer beards. What the Supreme Court said today was that government officials cannot impose arbitrary restrictions on religious liberty just because they think government knows best.”




US Supreme Court Seal


The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs

PRAY FOR OUR JUDICIARY

A group of California public schoolteachers petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to laws allowing teachers unions to require dues from nonmembers who disagree with union positions and policies.

A federal judge made permanent an injunction overturning a ban on issuing drivers’ licenses to young immigrants in Arizona when they had been brought to the U.S. illegally as children and spared from deportation.

Pray for the members of America’s courts to have wisdom as they deal with justice and compassion.