Founded in 2001
4.8 Million Served


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 Merrick Garland, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Merrick Brian Garland was born in November 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Nieles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, and was named one of 19 members of the Presidential Scholars Program by President Richard Nixon. He graduated from Harvard College, first in his class, and then from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. He clerked for a judge at the Court of Appeals and later for Justice William Brennan, Jr., of the Supreme Court.

Garland served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the U.S., and then went into private practice for four years. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia. He also taught antitrust law at Harvard Law School.

President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the D.C. Circuit and he received his commission in March 1997. He became chief Judge on February 12, 2013.

He is married to Lynn, and has two daughters.

IN THE NEWS: A prisoner will be allowed to make his case for renunciation of his U.S. citizenship, Judge Merrick Garland of the DC Court of Appeals said. Aaron Schnitzler, a South Dakota state prisoner, is nearing the end of a 15-year sentence for sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16. Starting in about 2010, he embarked on what Judge Garland termed a “merry-go-round” of entreaties to a variety of federal agencies, in search of his citizenship renunciation. Frustrated, he sued. Among other arguments, the government said an in-person interview is required to request renunciation. But, since Schnitzler is incarcerated, such an interview was impossible. He’d have to wait until he was released. Not good enough, Schnitzler says. “’I want to renounce citizenship while in prison right now!’ he said,” Garland recounted. “It may well seem incongruous that, at a time when many people are trying hard to obtain American citizenship, Schnitzler regards himself as ‘injured’ by his inability to renounce it,” Garland wrote. “Nonetheless, the fact that we, or the government’s attorneys, would not ourselves feel ‘prejudiced’ by being required to remain in citizenship status does not mean that Schnitzler has not suffered an injury in fact.”

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs


Two federal appeals court rulings put the issue of ObamaCare subsidies in limbo this week, with one court invalidating some of them and the other upholding all of them. Appeals and a possible Supreme Court ruling are in the future.

A federal judge’s ruling that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional was described by legal experts as stunning and unprecedented. Decades-long delays and uncertainties violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment, he ruled.

Pray about the rulings of the courts and how they impact individuals, families, businesses and communities.