Friday, February 5, 2016
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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

PrayFocusJudicialJudge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

James Harvie Wilkinson III was born in September 1944 in New York, New York. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where he attended St. Christopher’s School. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School and from Yale University, after which he served two years in the U.S. Army.

Wilkinson made an unsuccessful bid for a Virginia seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He then attended the University of Virginia Law School. He served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell. Following his clerkship, he spent five years as an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, and three years working as an editor for Norfolk’s The Virginian-Pilot. He was given a position with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

After a brief return to the University of Virginia School of Law, Wilkinson was nominated to the fourth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan. He was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission in August 1984. He was chief judge of the court for eight years. He is the author of five books.

IN THE NEWS: An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union urged a three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court’s ruling that the Rowen County (North Carolina) Commissioner’s practice of opening their meetings with prayers that almost always referred to Christianity was “unconstitutionally coercive.” But a lawyer for the Rowen County Commission said the recent Supreme Court decision supports its case and asked the judges not to engage in “difficult line drawing” between the church and state. Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III said what he finds different – and concerning – about the Rowan County case is the combination of the fact that the commissioners are delivering the prayers and that the invocations consistently reference just one faith. “The prayers are eloquent and beautiful,” Wilkinson said. “The problem is the setting, which is the most basic unit of government which affects the lives of all citizens – not just one particular faith.” A decision by the court is due in the coming weeks, and it could have wide implications as it is the first big test of how the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling will be applied.

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs


The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 23 in a case that challenges provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring birth control provisions for employees of faith-based charities and schools.

The Supreme Court allowed Virginia’s election for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to go ahead based on new congressional district boundaries as imposed by a federal court panel.

Pray for wisdom for the members of the United States Supreme Court, and for their clerks sand legal assistants.