(Editor's Note: the following was written by Dr. Robert Jeffress who is senior pastor of First Baptist-Dallas and an evangelical faith advisor to President Donald Trump. This commentary was originally aired under the "Worldview" brand for the pastor's daily radio program, Pathway to Victory. It is posted with permission)
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a White House event that marked a milestone in the Trump administration. In just three years, President Trump has appointed and the Senate has confirmed over 150 federal judges—or 20% of the federal judiciary. This surpasses the number of judicial vacancies filled by any recent administration, including two-term presidents.
This is a victory, not just for one person or one party, but for the integrity of our entire Constitutional order. Throughout the last several decades, the judiciary has often been the engine for social change in our country. They took religion out of public schools, legalized abortion nationwide, and redefined marriage. They did this by subverting the democratic process, avoiding legislatures and instead imposing laws on the entire country directly from the bench.
But this new crop of conservative justices doesn’t intend to deliver any political victories. Instead, they were chosen because they are committed to the rule of law, rather than the rule of judges. They interpret the laws as they are, not as they wish they were. This allows the people and their representatives to rule in accordance with the Constitution, rather than the arbitrary will of unelected judges.
As President Trump said in his remarks, “the impartial and objective judge, who is a faithful servant of the law, is essential to the survival of American liberty.” American liberty is particularly vital right now. Some secularist progressives are seeking to deny the rights of Christian business owners, Christian charities, and Christian schools and churches. The Bill of Rights offers protection for the free exercise of religion, but that promise can only be fulfilled if the courts interpret and apply it properly.
Elections are critical. The president and the Senate who confirmed these judges will eventually leave office, yet their legacy of a restored Constitutionalism will live beyond them through the lifetime tenures of this remade judiciary. Christians cannot afford to ignore this fact when they vote. The protection of religious liberty honors God, keeps the government within its proper bounds, and allows Christians freedom to do the work Christ has called us to do in the world.
God, we thank you for a federal government that has taken a significant turn, seeking to restore the rule of law. We thank you for the ways you have worked throughout our country’s history to protect Christians and many others from persecution. We pray that the judges appointed would rule with wisdom and justice, according to the laws as written. We also pray that you would empower us to use this freedom we’ve been given to live out our faith fully, bringing as many people as possible into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.