Intercessors for America, a group that encourages conservative Christians to both pray for political leaders and get involved in elections, has put out its 2018 guide to praying for the courts. Its guide to electing “godly” candidates in the 2018 midterm elections came out in April.
The judicial guide complains that for “far too long,” judges have “allowed the passage of laws that are not only anti-biblical but also anti-constitutional as well.” It quotes Phillip Jauregui, an attorney with Judicial Action Group, making a similar complaint, saying that judges “have usurped legislative power and set policy over the most important political issues facing our nation including: life, marriage, immigration, religious freedom and our national relationship with God.” (After the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling, Jauregui said Justice Anthony Kennedy should be impeached.)
Juaregui says in IFA’s guide that judicial nominations are “the most important issue facing the Trump administration,” because the judges he puts on the bench can serve for 30 or 40 years. Jauregui is hopeful that “in the coming weeks and months we may have the opportunity to replace a liberal Supreme Court Justice with a true constitutionalist who fears God.” Other Trump-supporting Christian leaders have been praying explicitly that God will “remove” liberal justices from the Supreme Court and give Trump an opportunity to name multiple justices.
IFA’s judicial guide features a two-page spread touting seven potential Trump nominees for the next Supreme Court vacancy. It urges special prayers for Amy Coney Barrett, who won confirmation to an appeals court seat last year after a Religious Right-led smear campaign portraying critics of her judicial ideology as anti-religious bigots. Other potential nominees lifted up in the guide are Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Thomas Lee, Don Willett, and Amul Thapar.
IFA also asks for prayer for right-wing legal activists who are helping Trump fill the courts with far-right ideologues: the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo, the Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm and the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Mike Farris.
The IFA guide includes a chart showing judicial vacancies and instructs evangelicals to “pray for these judicial openings to be filled with godly and constitutionalist judges.” The guide doesn’t mention that there are so many judicial vacancies because Republican senators refused to consider to many Obama nominees. IFA is also asking God for judges who “understand and accept our Creator’s laws” and “rule with God’s righteousness.”
Even though Mitch McConnell has turned the Senate into a rapid-fire rubber stamp for Trump’s nominees, confirming judges at a record clip, the IFA guide asks for prayers that God would intervene to “remove procedural and political obstacles” so that “confirmations would occur at a faster rate.”