Juan R. Torruella

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Juan R. Torruella
Judgetorruella.JPG
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
In office
August 3, 1994 – June 15, 2001
Preceded by Stephen Breyer
Succeeded by Michael Boudin
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Assumed office
October 4, 1984
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Seat established by 98 Stat. 333
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
In office
September 8, 1982 – October 4, 1984
Preceded by Hernan Gregorio Pesquera
Succeeded by Juan Pérez-Giménez
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
In office
December 20, 1974 – October 4, 1984
Appointed by Gerald Ford
Preceded by Hiram Rafael Cancio
Succeeded by José A. Fusté
Personal details
Born Juan Rafael Torruella del Valle
(1933-06-07) June 7, 1933 (age 84)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Education University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
Boston University School of Law (J.D.)
University of Virginia School of Law (LL.M.)
University of Puerto Rico (M.P.A.)
Magdalen College, Oxford University (M.St.)

Juan Rafael Torruella del Valle Sr. [Spanish: xwan rafaˈel t̪orueʎa d̪el βaʎe] (born June 7, 1933) is a Puerto Rican jurist, who currently serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is the first and to date only Hispanic to serve in that court.[1] He was also a competitive sailor participating in four Olympics.

Education and career[edit]

Torruella was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. He received a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law in 1957. He received a Master of Laws from University of Virginia School of Law in 1984. He received a Master of Public Administration from University of Puerto Rico School of Public Administration in 1984. He received a Master of Studies from Oxford University.[2] He was in private practice of law in San Juan from 1959 to 1974.[3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Torruella was nominated by President Gerald Ford on November 18, 1974, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico vacated by Judge Hiram Rafael Cancio. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 18, 1974, and received commission on December 20, 1974. He served as Chief Judge from 1982 to 1984. His service was terminated on October 30, 1984, due to elevation to the First Circuit.[3]

Torruella was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on August 1, 1984, to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, to a new seat created by 98 Stat. 333. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 3, 1984, and received his commission on October 4, 1984. He served as Chief Judge from 1994 to 2001.[3]

Views and notable cases[edit]

Torruella has consistently been an advocate of Puerto Rican rights and dissented from a 2005 ruling that Puerto Ricans are properly denied a voice in the election of the president of the United States because Puerto Rico is not a state. On the bench, Torruella is considered to be a moderate. He has ruled in favor of abortion rights, including the First Circuit court's opinion in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood.

Torruella is the author of the book The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico: The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal (University of Puerto Rico: 1988), a study of the Supreme Court's decisions in the Insular Cases.

Torruella helped declare the DOMA unconstitutional in Boston on May 31, 2012.[4]

On February 13, 2009, Torruella wrote the opinion in Noonan v. Staples,[5] allowing a suit for libel to proceed because even though the statements at issue were true they reflected "actual malice".[6]

Sailing career[edit]

Torruella competed for  Puerto Rico (PUR) in four Olympic sailing events:[1]

Publications[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Juan Torruella Sr.". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College". Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  3. ^ a b c "Torruella, Juan R. - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov. 
  4. ^ "Big DOMA Decision Handed Down". Huffington Post. May 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ Alan S. Noonan v. Staples, Inc Archived February 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Dan (February 17, 2009), "With malice aforethought", The Guardian, London 

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Hiram Rafael Cancio
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
1974–1984
Succeeded by
José A. Fusté
Preceded by
Hernan Gregorio Pesquera
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
1982–1984
Succeeded by
Juan Pérez-Giménez
Preceded by
Seat established by 98 Stat. 333
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
1984–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Stephen Breyer
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
1994–2001
Succeeded by
Michael Boudin