Justice Breyer to Speak at Event Honoring Judge Torruella, Critiquing Insular Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be participating next week in an event hosted by the Yale Law Journal and the Federal Bar Association of Puerto Rico to honor Judge Juan Torruella, who passed away last month, and to highlight a collection of essays recently published about the Insular Cases and what comes next after the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Aurelius. The event is Monday, November 16, from 6-7:15pm ET, and is open to the public and press. 
"Judge Torruella was a giant in the law, and an inspiration to all who care about constitutional rights in U.S. territories," said Neil Weare, President and Founder of Equally American, a nonoprofit organization that fights for equality and civil rights in U.S. territories. "He was one of the chief critics of the Insular Cases, and I think he would be pleased to see us honoring him by continuing the conversation on the need to turn the page on these racist Supreme Court decisions and bring an end to the second-class status facing the 3.5 million citizens who live in U.S. territories."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will provide opening remarks the event, and Judge José Cabranes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, will provide closing remarks. Neil Weare, President of Equally American, will also be discussing a piece he co-authored with Adriel Cepeda-Deriuex of the ACLU that examines Aurelius as a missed opportunity to overrule the Insular Cases, and examines possible future opportunities for the Court to take that step in the context of the Citizenship Clause, the Fourth Amendment, and Equal Protection. Other authors in the collection will also be discussing their essays, along with additional remembrances of Judge Torruella by Chief Judge Jeffrey R. Howard, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Chief Judge Gustavo Gelpí, U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.


The Yale Law Journal event comes at a time when it appears likely that the Insular Cases and other constitutional issues in U.S. territories will once again be front and center before the Supreme Court in the coming months. Petitions for certiorari are currently pending in United States v. Vaello Madero, where the First Circuit unanimously ruled that the denial of SSI benefits in Puerto Rico violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection, and United States v. Baxter, in which the Third Circuit relied on the Insular Cases to restrict Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. A decision is also pending before the Tenth Circuit in Fitisemanu v. United States, which considers whether Congress can deny citizenship to persons born in U.S. territories. 
The public and press are invited to attend the online event - Zoom information is below.

*Zoom Conference Information:

                Link: https://yale.zoom.us/j/94347550023

                Meeting ID: 943 4755 0023

More information on the event is available at https://www.yalelawjournal.org/news/announcing-insular-cases-panel-in-honor-of-judge-juan-torruella.

The Yale Law Journal's collection of essays on the Insular Cases and remembrances of Judge Torruella are available at https://www.yalelawjournal.org/collection/the-insular-casesin-light-of-aurelius. 

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published this page in Equally American Blog 2020-11-13 09:31:31 -0500