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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 Marie Lihotz, New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division

Marie Lihotz earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. She went on to earn an LL.M. from the New York University School of Law.

She began her career as a private practice lawyer. She was appointed to the Tax Court of New Jersey by Governor Whitman. During her time on that court, she also served on the Family Division of the Superior Court. She has served on the Appellate Division of the Superior Court since August 2006.

Judge Lihotz is married and has two children.

IN THE NEWS: Appellate Judge Marie Lihotz, writing for the three-judge panel, on the issue of medical negligence said, “The record lacks substantial credible evidence that S.I.’s conduct amounted to medical neglect or recklessly created a substantial risk to the child’s mental health or physical safety." The girl, according to the opinion, said she was depressed because she was being bullied at school and alleged that S.I. was physically abusive and struck her on the back at least once a week. She added that she wrote the note about a month earlier and had no plans on how she was to harm herself. A DYFS worker said the granddaughter should be taken to a hospital immediately for a psychiatric evaluation, according to the opinion. The grandmother refused. Based on her refusal, DYFS took immediate custody of the child and took her to a hospital, where a psychiatrist evaluated her, found there was no danger of immediate harm and released her. The girl was placed in the custody of her father, according to the opinion. DYFS charged S.I. with abuse and neglect. A Family Part judge upheld the charges, saying S.I. should have taken the girl for an evaluation after her note mentioning suicide was discovered. Lihotz noted that a teenager’s thoughts of suicide should never be ignored by adults. However, she said, the facts presented at the hearing failed to show that the granddaughter was in "imminent danger" or that there was a "substantial risk" from S.I.’s refusal to take her for an evaluation. Lihotz noted that S.I. had attempted to deal with the bullying at school and did not stand in the way when DYFS workers moved to have her granddaughter evaluated immediately.

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs


A three-judge federal appeals panel closely questioned Wisconsin’s and Indiana’s bans on same-sex marriage, with Judge Richard Posner asking “Who is helped?” by the ban, saying it is “absurd and ridiculous.”

A federal judge issued a stinging rebuke to the Obama Administration’s recent attempts to shield documents from disclosure in a case that could yield important clues about the Treasury Department and mortgage lenders.

Pray about the widespread impact of judicial decisions, and for wisdom for America’s judiciary.