Rep. Alcee Hastings dies, narrowing Democratic House majority to just 7


Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., listens to college students discuss their experiences with gun violence throughout the The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force panel Wednesday afternoon May 23, 2018.

Sarah Silbiger | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., died Tuesday after a greater than two-year bout with pancreatic most cancers, NBC News confirmed.

Hastings, who served within the House for almost three many years, was 84. Throughout his profession, he held a number of key committee assignments and management positions, most lately as vice chairman of the principles committee. He had additionally been Florida’s first Black federal trial decide, appointed to the bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

“As an attorney, civil rights activist and judge, and over his nearly thirty years in Congress, he fought tirelessly to create opportunities to lift up working families, communities of color, children and immigrants,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a press release.

President Joe Biden reacted to Hastings’ loss of life on Tuesday afternoon. “Across his long career of public service, Alcee always stood up to fight for equality, and always showed up for the working people he represented,” he stated in a press release. “Jill and I are saddened to learn of his passing.”

Democrats now maintain a narrower benefit within the House, 218-211, giving the get together a smaller margin of error in passing laws. Six seats are vacant, 4 of which had been beforehand held by Democrats and two by Republicans.

Three of the 4 Democratic House seats had been vacated by appointments to positions in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. Deb Haaland, of New Mexico, was appointed secretary of the Department of Interior; Marcia Fudge, of Ohio, was named head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Cedric Richmond, of Louisiana, grew to become senior advisor to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

One of the 2 vacant GOP seats is not up for contest. Julia Letlow of Louisiana was elected in late March however has but to be sworn in. Julia will change her late husband, Luke Letlow, who was elected to the seat however died earlier than being sworn in due to Covid-19 issues.

In 1983, when Hastings was a federal decide, he was acquitted in prison court docket on a cost of conspiring to solicit a bribe in trade for leniency in a sentencing.

Alcee Hastings testifying at his impeachment trial in 1989.

Michael Jenkins | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Nevertheless, the House impeached Hastings in 1988 amid accusations that he perjured himself throughout that prison trial. The Senate voted to convict him, eradicating him from the bench, however didn’t vote to disqualify him from holding future workplace.

Hastings appealed the impeachment conviction in 1992. A federal decide (*7*), on the grounds {that a} 12-member Senate committee, reasonably than the complete Senate, performed the impeachment trial. This was the primary time a Senate conviction was overturned by a federal decide.

The subsequent 12 months, the U.S. Supreme Court dominated federal courts would not have the authority to assessment the procedures of a Senate impeachment trial. Hastings’ legislative profession, which started along with his election in 1992 and continued till his loss of life, was unaffected by the choice.

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