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November 30, 2019

The Supreme Court As a Referee

“The Framers did not envision that the Courts would play the role of arbiter of turf disputes between the political branches. By giving the Congress and the Presidency the tools to fend off the encroachments of the others, the Framers believed this would force compromise and political accommodation. As Justice Scalia observed, the Constitution gives Congress and the President many ‘clubs with which to beat’ each other. Conspicuously absent from the list is running to the courts to resolve their disputes.

“That omission makes sense. When the Judiciary purports to pronounce a conclusive resolution to constitutional disputes between the other two branches, it does not act as a co-equal. And, if the political branches believe the courts will resolve their constitutional disputes, they have no incentive to debate their differences through the democratic process — with input from and accountability to the people. The long experience of our country is that the political branches can work out their constitutional differences without resort to the courts.

“In any event, the prospect that courts can meaningfully resolve inter-branch disputes about the meaning of the Constitution is mostly a false promise.  How is a court supposed to decide, for example, whether Congress’s power to collect information in pursuit of its legislative function overrides the President’s power to receive confidential advice in pursuit of his executive function?  

“It was once well recognized that such matters were largely unreviewable and that the courts should not be substituting their judgments for the prudential judgments reached by the accountable Executive officials. This outlook now seems to have gone by the boards. Courts are now willing, under the banner of judicial review, to substitute their judgment for the President’s on matters that only a few decades ago would have been unimaginable – such as matters involving national security or foreign affairs.” (Attorney General Bill Barr)

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17; NASB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  1. Intercede for the proper role of the U. S. Supreme Court as it relates to involvement in disputes between the Executive and Legislative branches.

  2. Pray that the Executive and Legislative branches can work out their differences without resorting to the courts.

  3. The Word of God outlines how people should work together. The branches of government are comprised of individuals. Beginning with the Believers in those branches, pray that the guidelines of conflict resolution in the Bible would be followed by our governing leaders.

  4. Pray that the courts would not substitute their judgements in place of those of the President and others in the Executive division, especially regarding national security and foreign affairs, if the leaders in the Executive branch are following their constitutionally-bestowed authority.

  5. Call for the fear of the Lord to manifest His power and presence among our Christian government leaders. The Bible says in Exodus 14:31 (ISV), “When Israel saw the great force by which the Lord had acted against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord and Moses his servant.”

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, Attorney General Bill Barr has given us much to consider in his excellent speech. He is clearly a student of the U. S. Constitution and has a good grasp of the intent of the originators of it. It’s amazing that people today have come to expect that the Executive and Legislative branches will utilize the courts to work out their disputes. So much so, that it is the most common course. The political parties are so divided that the President and others in the Executive branch get stuck trying to act. They are consistently challenged on everything they do. They cannot act on behalf of the nation without conflict from the Legislative branch. So, something always ends up headed to the Court for a decision. This is power given to the Supreme Court that the founders never intended! It’s frightening to put all of these decisions in the hands of 9 Justices. It removes power from the people. So, we call the branches back to the original intent stated in the U.S. Constitution. Let the Executive and Legislative work out their differences in humility and the fear of the Lord, humbly compromising and giving room for political and ideological differences. Let Believers, especially, take heed to the Word of God and walk in the fear of the Lord. Your Word says, “When Israel saw the great force by which the Lord had acted against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord and Moses his servant.” We are not to be weak and complacent in fearing You, but strong and confident, knowing You, our God, is with us. You fight for righteousness, justice, and truth together with us! You can put them all on their knees, Jesus. You can require them to work out their disputes. Let the courts get out of the way and let our leaders be forced to the table of brotherhood on behalf of the American people. Amen.

Today’s decree:

Let the Executive and Legislative branches work things out between themselves. Let the Courts limit themselves to their constitutional duties.

Learn more here about Attorney General Bill Barr and his speech at the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention.

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