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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

Judge Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Thomas B. Griffith was born in July 1954 Yokohama, Japan, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army. He earned his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. He engaged in the private practice of law in Charlotte, North Carolina and in Washington, D.C.

He left private practice to serve as Senate Legal Counsel, the chief legal officer of the United States Senate. After briefly returning to private practice, Griffith became General Counsel of BYU.

President George W. Bush first nominated Griffith to the D.C. Circuit in May 2004.  There were some controversies to his nomination which might have been a backlash to his having served the Senate during the Bill Clinton impeachment trial.  After the Senate failed to act on his nomination, it lapsed. Bush resubmitted the nomination for the same seat the following year, and Griffith was confirmed by a 73-24 vote. He received his commission in June, 2005.

Griffith is married to the former Susan Ann Stell and they are the parents of six children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


Over the course of six years in detention at the U.S. naval station in Cuba, Mohammed Jawad was interrogated more than 60 times. Jawad sued the United States claiming he was tortured, but the court threw out his lawsuit.

“By its clear terms, this provision [a 2006 law banning suits for damages] strips federal courts of jurisdiction to hear most claims against the United States arising out of the detention of aliens like Jawad captured during the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith. A lower court had reached a similar conclusion.

The appeals court has rejected similar claims made by other detainees.

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs

A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments regarding an effort by the state of Kansas to reinstate rules that require residents to present proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote under the motor-voter law.

A federal appeals court rejected a lower court judge’s order to restore a week of early voting in Ohio after Democrats alleged a disproportionate burden on black voters who could also register to vote during that “golden week.”

Pray about decisions made by America’s courts that will impact the coming election.