The late Judge Juan Torruella, of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, was a remarkable man, as a glance at his obituaries show—the first Puerto Rican judge on the circuit that includes Puerto Rico, an Olympian, part of the panel that threw out the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But in addition to the accomplishments of his life, his death at 87 while still serving on the court highlights something important about the court he served on. With the clock nearly having run out, Torruella was the only judge to leave the First Circuit during Donald Trump’s time in office—and Torruella obviously was not trying to leave.
Trump has appointed nearly one in four active federal judges, including more appeals court judges than any of his recent predecessors. Many of those were because of Obama-era vacancies held open by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but a significant number also came open because of retirements. The First Circuit, and Judge Torruella’s death, is a reminder to send some appreciation the way of the judges who didn’t retire.
We still don’t know whether the judges who retire under a President Joe Biden will be replaced, or if McConnell will blockade the courts again—and that means some of these judges who’ve been in their roles for 20 or even upward of 30 years may keep trying to hang on rather than taking a comfortable retirement. But that’s not going to be possible for all of them, and it’s not desirable for the nation to have a court system dominated by Trumpists and very elderly judges.
And that is one more reason we need to support Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in their Senate runoffs in Georgia.
Read More at Daily Kos
This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article here at DailyKos.