Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, of Florida, died on Tuesday morning at age 84 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer, the Sun Sentinel reports. Hastings was appointed to the U.S. District Court in the 1970s, breaking records as the first Black federal judge in Florida’s history. However, less than ten years later, he was charged with conspiring to solicit a $150,000 bribe from an FBI agent. He was acquitted but later impeached for allegedly lying during the trial.
He wasn’t barred from holding future office and was soon after elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected 14 times thereafter, becoming a powerful figure in politics. Sometimes no one would even try to run against him, according to the Sun Sentinel. Congressman Ted Deutch described him in 2019 as someone “who can stand up to a bully, who can represent people whose voices need to be heard.”