Wednesday, October 1, 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 Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Diarmuid Fionntain O’Scannlain was born in March 1937 in New York City. He received a B.A. from St. John’s University and a J.D. from Harvard University. He also earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served in the United States Army Reserve JAG Corps.

He was a tax attorney for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and New York, and then in private practice in Portland, Oregon. He served two years as Deputy State Attorney General of Oregon Department of Justice, then as an Oregon public utility commissioner. He was finally Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

He made an unsuccessful run for the United States House of Representative, then returned to private practice. He chaired an advisory panel for the U.S. Secretary of Energy during the Reagan Administration.

He was nominated to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court by President Ronald Reagan and was confirmed by the Senate. He was named by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts to chair the Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations.

IN THE NEWS: A legal flap drew nationwide attention to the parents’ First Amendment argument that no circumstances warrant a school forbidding a student from wearing a shirt with the American flag. The parents have told this newspaper the students were only showing their patriotism and did not intend to incite trouble with Latino students on Cinco de Mayo. A unanimous three-judge panel had found that the school’s actions were reasonable given the safety concerns, which outweighed the students’ First Amendment claims. "Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence," the judges ruled. William Becker, the parents’ lawyer, called the decision "outrageous" and vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court. "(We) will not allow the politically correct judiciary to insult our flag," he said. Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain warned that the decision opened the door for schools to stifle speech for any threat, saying, "The demands of bullies will become school policy."




US Supreme Court Seal


The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs

PRAY FOR OUR JUDICIARY

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with a lower district court that school officials in California could censor students who wanted to wear flag-emblazoned shirts as a protest against Cinco De Mayo.

One day after a Lafayette Parish judge declared Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the state’s top lawyer announced plans to challenge that decision before the state Supreme Court.

Pray for judges nationwide as they rule on matters of freedom, morality and religious practices.