Florida congressman Alcee Hastings’death was confirmed by his chief of staff, Lale M. Morrison, according to The Western Journal.
Two years ago it was announced that he has pancreatic cancer.
Hastings was known as an advocate for minorities, a defender of Israel, and a voice for gays, immigrants, women, and the elderly.
Hasting would post on the House Rules Committee and the Helinski Commission.
The bribery scandal that led to his impeachment seemed to derailed his ambitions for a greater leadership role.
“That seems to be the only thing of significance to people who write,” Hastings told The Associated Press in 2013.
Hastings was passed over for chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.
However, he insisted that his fight wasn’t over.
“Sorry, haters,” he said when not chosen for the intelligence posting. “God is not finished with me yet.”
Under Florida law, Gov. Ron DeSantis will call a special election in the coming months to fill the vacancy.
Hastings’ death effectively lowers the Democrats’ majority to a scant 218-211 in the House.
“Outside the courtroom, I speak out because I’m a citizen and I have the interests of a great number of people of this country at heart,” he said.
“I think it’s better to have public officials express themselves. I don’t think being a judge means I’m neutered.”
However, he became the first sitting U.S. judge tried on criminal charges.
“He was a fierce fighter for civil rights and racial justice, and a great partner in Congress when it came to serving south Florida,” Frankel said in a statement.
Other colleagues also sang his praises Tuesday.
“I’ve enjoyed some of the fights, and even the process of being indicted and removed from the bench,” he told the AP in 2013.
“All of those are extraordinary types of circumstances that would cause lesser people to buckle. I did not and I have not.”
From The Western Journal:
A federal judge later reversed the impeachment, saying Hastings was improperly tried by a 12-member panel instead of the full Senate, but his exoneration was short-lived. Ruling later in the case of another ousted judge, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 that courts could not second-guess the Senate’s power to remove federal officials from office.
By then, Hastings had already won a seat in Congress in 1992, taking his oath before the same body that had impeached him.
Like so many other moves in Hastings’ life, his path to Congress had been a high-profile fight. He won the seat after two bitter runoffs fueled by accusations of racism in the largely black district.
Hastings remained no stranger to controversy, even in recent years. In 2011, a former aide filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him, claiming he constantly hugged her against her will, pressed his cheek against hers and suggested they go to his hotel room. Hastings claimed they were “ridiculous, bizarre, frivolous” accusations.
The House Ethics Committee cleared Hastings in 2014, finding no “substantial reason to believe” the allegations and “a significant amount of evidence” casting doubt on them.