Judge Gustavo Gelpí, Jr. served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 2006 to 2021 and was chief judge from 2018 to 2021. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In 2019, Judge Gelpí ruled that the federal government was not allowed to prohibit people who live in Puerto Rico from receiving Supplemental Security Income. The case is currently pending before the Supreme Court.
In 2008, Judge Gelpí authored an opinion holding that Puerto Rico was no longer an unincorporated U.S. territory and had become an incorporated territory, which would guarantee full constitutional protections to Puerto Rico.
Judge Gelpí served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1993 to 1996. Upon confirmation, he became the first judge on the First Circuit with experience as a public defender.
Judge Gelpí has previously served as Solicitor General of Puerto Rico, Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, and as a special counsel to the Puerto Rico Attorney general.
Upon confirmation, Judge Gelpí became only the second Hispanic judge to ever serve on the First Circuit and the only current Hispanic judge on the court.