Thursday, November 09, 2006

Today's Profile: Alcee Hastings

Alcee Hastings is poised to become the chairman of the House Intelligence Comittee. The Black Caucus is going to really pressure Pelosi to come through for them on this issue. But who is this Alcee Hasting? Well, he is a Representative from Florida, a Democrat, first elected in 1993. Before that, though he was a lawyer and judge of the circuit court. What might have motivated him to go into politics? Why did he leave his law career for politics? To search for answers wee turn to Wikipedia:

In 1989, Hastings was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for bribery and perjury. The Democratic-controlled Senate convicted Judge Hastings of accepting a $150,000 bribe in 1981 in exchange for a lenient sentence and of perjury in his testimony about the case. He became only the sixth Judge in the history of impeachment in the United States to be removed from office by the United States Senate.

His impeachment was remanded back to the Senate by Judge Stanley Sporkin after Hastings filed suit claiming that his impeachment trial was invalid because he was tried by a Senate committee, not in front of the full Senate, and that he had been acquitted in a criminal trial. But the Supreme Court ruled in a similar case, regarding Judge Walter Nixon, who had also been impeached and removed, that the courts had no jurisdiction to review Senate impeachment procedures. A lower court found crucial distinctions between the two cases, since Nixon had been convicted in a criminal trial, and a certified record of his conviction was available to submit to the full Senate as probative evidence of his conduct. Hastings, on the other hand, had been found not guilty in a criminal trial, so Sporkin ruled he had a right to trial by the full Senate and not just by a committee. Sporkin stayed his ruling pending Supreme Court review. The jurisdictional issue prevailed on appeal, and Hastings' impeachment and removal were reinstated.

Interesting! Well, that's it for another installment of my new series "Profiles of Your New Majority Party!"

See ya next time.