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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 David Tatel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

David S. Tatel was born in March 1942 in Washington, D.C. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. Following law school, he served as an instructor at the University of Michigan Law School and then entered into private law practice. He spent a year as a lecturer at Stanford Law School, and for a time served as Acting General Counsel for the Legal Services Corporation.

Tatel was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that was vacated by Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in October 1994.

Tatel and his wife, Edith, have four children and eight grandchildren. He has been blind since 1972 due to retinitis pigmentosa.



Hopes for a revival of the Obama Administration’s signature effort to address climate change slipped further from reach as a federal court extended its freeze of litigation over the Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit instituted a new 60-day abeyance of the long-running battle over the EPA regulation that would require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.

“Combined with this court’s abeyance, the stay has the effect of relieving EPA of its obligation to comply with that statutory duty for the indefinite future,” wrote Judges David Tatel, a Clinton appointee, and Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee. “Questions regarding the continuing scope and effect of the Supreme Court’s stay, however, must be addressed to that Court.”

US Supreme Court Seal

The Court

Judicial Branch Prayer Needs

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, lifting a former ban that had stopped it from doing so.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected an environmental challenge to a major liquified natural gas export terminal in Texas, saying the project was in the public interest.

Pray for the judges who sit on the nation’s appeals courts–the last stop before the Supreme Court.