Juan B. Fernández Badillo (1967-1989)

Juan B.  Fernandez Badillo  (1967-1989)Judge Juan B. Fernández-Badillo was born in Aguadilla on August 28, 1912. His father was Pablo Fernández, a lay pastor of the Presbyterian Church and his mother was Veneranda Badillo, who had once been selected as the exemplary mother of Puerto Rico. He was married to Monsita Marrero, with whom he had two daughters, Myrtelina and Diana.

Judge Fernández-Badillo was a distinguished minister, statesman and jurist. He began college majoring in religious studies, studying to be a minister. From 1929 to 1930, he attended the College of Liberal Arts of the University of Puerto Rico. In 1930, however, he enrolled in the Puerto Rico Evangelical Seminary's School of International Theology. In 1933 he received his Diploma in Theology from the Evangelical Seminary. He later studied at the Polytechnic Institute (now Inter-American University), but did not complete his studies due to a health crisis. He overcame his health obstacle, however, and in 1942 obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puerto Rico. In 1945, he received his Bachelor of Laws degree, also from the University of Puerto Rico. On July 28, 1945 he was admitted to the practice of law by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

He was a member of the Puerto Rico Evangelical Seminary and was a pastor for a brief period of time in the town of Moca, Puerto Rico. In 1974 he obtained his Master's Degree in Theology from the Evangelical Seminary.

Between 1945 and 1952 he held several important positions in the Government of Puerto Rico. He worked in the Department of Justice for twenty-two years. He handled tax cases and eventually became Chief of the department's Tax Litigation Division. He then held the positions of Assistant Attorney General, Acting Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and between 1957 and 1958, he became the Attorney General. He was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Puerto Rico Law School in 1956, and in 1962 at the Interamerican University Law School. On March 5, 1956, when the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico was convened for the first time in an ordinary session in its new building in Puerta de Tierra, Judge Fernández-Badillo, as Acting Attorney General, addressed the justices and audience and spoke about the role of the Supreme Court in the administration of justice, and quoted excerpts from the Bible. On July 1, 1957, when the resignation of Associate Justice Borinquen Marrero became effective, several names of candidates surfaced to replace him, including Judge Fernández-Badillo. In 1958, he was the Acting Governor of Puerto Rico. From 1959 to 1967 he was the Solicitor General of Puerto Rico.

President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him to the federal bench on September 18, 1967 to a new judgeship created pursuant to Article III, on the resignation of Judge Hiram Cancio from his fixed-term appointment. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 12, 1967. His published opinions are contained in the Federal Supplement, volumes 281 (1968) - 340 (1972), and the Federal Rules Decisions, volumes 46, 47, 48, 51, and 53. On June 30, 1972 Judge Fernández-Badillo was the first federal judge in Puerto Rico to assume senior status. He died in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, on October 16, 1989, at the age of 77.