Former Section Chair Hon. Cruz Reynoso to Receive Section Service Award
Hon. Cruz Reynoso, who chaired the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities from 1981 to 1982, has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service. The award recognizes individuals whose sustained commitment to the Section has advanced its mission of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. A reception will be held in honor of Mr. Reynoso at the 2005 ABA Midyear Meeting on Friday, Feb. 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
One of the leading Hispanic civil rights advocates of his generation, Justice Reynoso first gained national recognition fighting for the rights of the rural poor with California Rural Legal Assistance. After serving as a jurist with the Third District Court of Appeals for California, he rose to become the first Hispanic appointed to the California Supreme Court, serving from 1982 to 1987. Justice Reynoso is the inaugural holder of the University of California-Davis School of Law’s Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality, which recognizes outstanding scholarship and teaching, along with a commitment to preserving and expanding the understanding of "the virtues necessary of a great republic."
From 1994 to 2004, Justice Reynoso served as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has served on several other federal, state and professional boards and commissions concerned with civil rights, immigration and refugee policy, government reform, the administration of justice, legal services for the indigent and education. He has received numerous professional honors and awards, including the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Hispanic Heritage Award in Education and the 2000 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his lifelong devotion to public service. Among his many positions within the ABA, Justice Reynoso currently serves on the ABA Steering Committee for the Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project.