Alcee Hastings, an impeached federal judge who went on to be a Florida congressman for 28 years, died Tuesday at age 84 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Fort Lauderdale-area Democrat and civil rights trailblazer’s career had been marked by high-profile highs and lows.
Before joining Congress, Hastings was a federal judge who was impeached by the House in 1988 after being accused of accepting a $150,000 bribe. The Senate convicted him and removed him from the bench.
But Hastings was not barred from holding office. In 1992, he won a newly created House seat, in which constituents didn’t seem particularly bothered by his background. During the 1992 primary campaign for the seat, against now-Rep. Lois Frankel, a Democratic in a neighboring South Florida district, Hastings reportedly visited a half-dozen churches every Sunday in pursuit of votes. He was quoted in one story describing Frankel, his white and Jewish opponent: “That b—- is