Juan R. Torruella
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. He was also a competitive sailor participating in four Olympics.
Education and career
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. He was in private practice of law in San Juan from 1959 to 1974.
Federal judicial service
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.
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.
Torruella has been the oldest judge on the 1st circuit in active service (meaning not in senior status) since 2001, when Norman H. Stahl took senior status.
Views and notable cases
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.
On February 13, 2009, Torruella wrote the opinion in Noonan v. Staples, allowing a suit for libel to proceed because even though the statements at issue were true they reflected "actual malice".
- 1964: Enoshima in the Finn (31st)
- 1968: Acapulco in the Flying Dutchman (28th)
- 1972: Kiel in the Flying Dutchman (27th)
- 1976: Kingston in the Soling (22nd)
- The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico: The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal, Río Piedras: University of Puerto Rico, 1988, ISBN 0-8477-3019-0
- "The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid" (PDF), University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 29 (2): 284–320, 2007
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Juan Torruella Sr". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Torruella, Juan R. - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
- "Big DOMA Decision Handed Down". Huffington Post. May 31, 2012.
- Alan S. Noonan v. Staples, Inc Archived February 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Kennedy, Dan (February 17, 2009), "With malice aforethought", The Guardian, London
- Note, Recent Case: First Circuit Denies En Banc Petition's Claim of Nonapportionment to Puerto Rico, 131 Harv. L. Rev. 1155 (2018).
- Igartúa v. Trump, 868 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 2017) (mem.).
- Juan R. Torruella at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Hiram Rafael Cancio
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
José A. Fusté
Hernan Gregorio Pesquera
| Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
Seat established by 98 Stat. 333
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
| Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit