Thursday, October 23, 2014
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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 Allyson K. Duncan, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Allyson Kay Duncan was born in September 1951 in Durham, North Carolina. She received a BA from Hampton University and earned her Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. She served one year as a law clerk at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Duncan then joined the staff of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, filling various positions as attorney there. She served as an associate professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, and served briefly on the North Carolina Court of Appeals as an Associate Judge. She was appointed a Commissioner of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, where she served eight years, and then joined the private practice of law.

She was nominated to the Fourth Circuit in April 2003 by President George W. Bush. The Senate confirmed her and she received her commission in August 2003. That year she also became the first African-American president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

IN THE NEWS: In a 2-1 decision, a panel of judges of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Republican-dominated General Assembly to redraw the Third U.S. House district by April 1, 2015, saying that the district’s November 4 election should proceed as scheduled. Changes to the Third District will trigger revisions elsewhere, possibly jeopardizing the GOP’s 6-3 advantage in the state’s U.S. House delegation. Judge Allyson Duncan, who wrote the opinion, was joined by Judge Liam O’Grady. Both Duncan and Grady were appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush. Dissenting was Senior Judge Robert E. Payne, who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush. The District includes portions of Richmond, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Newport News and Norfolk. Parts of the district are disconnected by the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Judge Duncan said in her ruling that racial classifications with respect to voting carry particular dangers. “Racial gerrymandering, even for remedial purposes, may balkanize us into competing racial factions. It threatens to carry us further from the goal of a political system in which race no longer matters.”

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs


The Supreme Court by a 6-3 decision blocked a Texas law that had drastically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the nation’s second most populous state, by staying a ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court considered how to resolve a long-running legal fight between Kansas and Nebraska over the use of water from the Republican River, and whether to adopt recommendations of a special master in whole or in part.

Pray for the Supreme Court Justices as they begin another arduous year with a heavy docket.