Velazquez on Passing of First Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement on the passing of Judge Juan R. Torruella of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals:
“Today, we lost a giant of our legal system, a trailblazer, a native son of San Juan, and a fierce defender of Puerto Rico. Judge Torruella has made Puerto Ricans living on the Island and on the Mainland proud through a distinguished career as the first Puerto Rican judge to serve on the U.S. First Circuit.
“Judge Torruella used his legal position to give visibility to the most pressing issues facing Puerto Rico. His tenure on the bench also helped to secure victories for women’s reproductive rights and for the rights of LGBTQ Americans to obtain federal benefits. Away from the bench, Torruella was an avid and champion sailor, representing Puerto Rico in several Olympic competitions.
“While I am optimistic that Judge Torruella’s irreplaceable legacy will endure for many more decades, his passing comes during an especially difficult time for our country. His successor has very big shoes to fill and must be carefully and deliberately chosen.
“On this very sad day, I join so many others in sending my deepest sympathies to Judge Torruella’s family, colleagues, and all who knew him.”