Alcee Hastings represents the twenty-third district of Florida in the House of Representatives, and is one of Congress's most outspoken liberals. His constituency is centered around western Broward County, Florida, but includes parts of six other counties as well: he keeps local offices in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm.

He was born in Altamonte Springs, Florida in 1936, and graduated from Fisk University in 1958. At first, he wanted to go to medical school, but he ended up entering law school at Howard University and Florida A&M University, graduating in 1963. Hastings became a well-known judge, starting with a two-year stint on the Broward Circuit Court. Then, in 1979, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to a federal judgeship in Florida, becoming the first African-American in Floridian history to attain that position.

However, his true notoriety began in 1981, when he was indicted by a grand jury for giving lighter sentences to two Miami mobsters in exchange for a $150,000 bribe. Hastings was acquitted in 1983, but Congress later received a report from the 11th Federal Court of Appeals that some of the evidence used in the acquittal may have been fabricated. In light of the new findings, Hastings was brought for impeachment before Congress in 1988. The House impeached him by a vote of 413-3, and the Senate convicted him 69-26. Although a district judge overturned the Senate conviction in 1992, the United States Supreme Court restored it in 1993, officially ending Hastings' judicial career.

But Alcee didn't care. He entered the world of politics in 1990, running for the Democratic Party's nomination for Florida Secretary of State. He lost the race, but soon jumped on a redistricting in South Florida that had created a minority-rich district without an incumbent. And he won this district by ridiculous margins, running against rich white people for both the Democratic nomination and the seat itself. (He likened one of his opponent's campaigns "to {convincing} B'nai B'rith that some sympathetic Arab millionaire ought to be prime minister of Israel.") The Senate could have voted to keep him out of office, but chose not to: he took his seat in 1993.

Along with several other Florida representatives, he served on the International Relations Committee, and became ranking Democrat on the Europe Subcommittee. He has taken leave from IR, and is now on both the Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence (subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security) and the ultra-powerful Rules Committee (subcommittee on Technology and the House). He is also vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Copenhagen, and sits on the Helsinki Commission.

In the wake of the 2000 election, Hastings was one of fourteen Democrats who voted against the certification of Florida's election results. His platform centers around civil rights, women's rights, immigration, education, and Social Security reform.

Hastings has voted FOR:

Hastings has voted AGAINST: http://www.house.gov/alceehastings/

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