Alcee Hastings, a longtime Florida congressman, died at the age of 84
Hastings’ family confirmed his death in a statement issued by his conference office. Hastings, a Democrat, declared two years ago that he had pancreatic cancer.
“He lived a perfect life with an unwavering fighting spirit dedicated to equitable justice. He believed that progress and change came only from knowing and respecting the humanity of all human beings. He was never afraid to speak his mind and genuinely loved to serve the elements of hls. And his family,” “He will be greatly missed but his legacy and fighting spirit will continue forever.”
Hastings was known as the lawyer for the minority, the defender of Israel and the voice of gays, immigrants, women and the elderly. He has held senior positions in the Housing Legislation Committee and the Helsinki Commission, which works with other countries on various international issues.
But his deviation remained a contradictory footnote. It was repeatedly called into news accounts and was seen as an end to his ambitions for a major leadership role.
“That looks like the only thing that matters most to the writers,” Hastings told the Associated Press in 2013, predicting that the case would be a milestone in his life.
Attorney Alcee Hastings speaks during a meeting of the Housing Law Committee on President Trump’s indictment on December 17, 2019, at Capitol Hill.
Despite his age, Hastings was promoted to chair of the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats took over the reins of Congress in 2006. But as he did many times throughout his life, he stressed that his war was not over and that he would not be discouraged.
“I’m sorry, they hate me,” he said when he was chosen to send spies, “God is not finished with me.”
Under Florida law, Governor Ron DeSantis will call a special election in the coming months to fill the vacancy. Hastings constituency has a Democratic Alliance – it received 80% of the vote in November.
Hastings’ death, meanwhile, reduced the majority of Democrats to 218-211 in the House. Their narrow margin forces the party to cast their votes unanimously to press the legislature in the chamber, and it strengthens Republican hopes of holding the House of Representatives in the 2022 elections.
There are six vacancies – four from the Democrats, two from the Republicans.
The seat won by Representative-elect Luke Letlow, a Republican of Louisiana who was killed by COVID-19 before being sworn in, will go to his widow, Julia Letlow, who won a special election. The rest are expected to be held by the same groups they held.
Born September 5, 1936, in Altamonte Springs, Florida, a black community in Orlando, Hastings was the son of a slave girl and a supplier. He studied at Fisk University and Florida A&M. After obtaining his law degree he entered the private sector, where he regularly took civil rights cases pro bono. He applied for the Senate’s unsuccessful candidacy in 1970, and then he got the country’s judiciary.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the government bench. He was the first Black person to rule the state of Florida since the Reconstruction.
From the beginning, his work was marked by controversy. His harsh criticism of President Ronald Reagan, his appearance at the 1984 meeting of the then presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and other actions that were considered unusual for an organized state judge raised questions about his impartiality. But Hastings emphasized that he had done nothing wrong.
“Outside the court, I speak because I am a citizen and I have the aspirations of many people in this country,” he said. “I think it’s better for government officials to show up. I don’t think being a judge means I’m neutral.”
It was not long before his judicial work was overthrown. He became the first judge in the U.S.
According to Washington’s attorney William Borders Jr., Hastings was accused of soliciting bribes of $ 150,000 from two fraudulent individuals seeking to reduce their sentences. Hastings is claiming that Border operated without his knowledge by requesting a bribe.
Borders was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Hastings was released, but did not end questions about his conduct, and a legal panel accused him of inventing his own defense. Although Hastings’s opposition to Congress’s actions was twice as dangerous, the House took him to court in 1988 and the Senate convicted him in 1989.
CERTIFICATION OF HASTINGS – Alcee Hastings testifies to his firmness
Alcee Hastings testifying in his trial on July 1, 1989.
MICHAEL JENKINS / PARTICIPATION / GETTY PICTURES
A state judge later quashed the arrest, saying that Hastings had been unfairly tried by a 12-member panel instead of the full Senate, but his acquittal was temporary. Delivering a decision later in the case of another dismissed judge, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the courts could not determine the Senate’s power to remove government officials.
By then, Hastings had secured a seat in Congress in 1992, taking his oath in front of the congressional committee.
Like many other departures in Hastings’ life, his journey to Congress has been a battle of wits. He won the seat after two bittersweet streets caused by allegations of apartheid in a very dark region.
At one point, in his fierce race against Lois Frankel, he quoted The Palm Beach Post as saying, “Dogs discriminate against them.” He went on to win, however, and was easily selected from time to time.