The Honorable José A. Cabranes
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
José A. Cabranes was appointed a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1994. At the time of his appointment, he was Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, a court to which he was appointed in 1979.
Judge Cabranes was born in 1940 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and, at the age of five, moved with his family to the South Bronx. After attending public schools in New York City, he graduated from Columbia College (A.B., 1961), Yale Law School (J.D., 1965), and the University of Cambridge (M.Litt. in International Law, 1967).
Judge Cabranes was serving as General Counsel of Yale University when appointed to the federal bench in 1979; he was the first Puerto Rican appointed to the federal bench in the continental United States. Previously, he had practiced in a New York City law firm; taught law on the full-time faculty at Rutgers School of Law and the adjunct faculty at Yale Law School; and served as Special Counsel to the Governor of Puerto Rico and as head of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s office in Washington, D.C.