Impeached Federal-Judge-now-Congressman Alcee Hastings says rules don’t count in passing Obamacare
March 21, 5:39 PMOrlando Republican ExaminerBlas Padrino
Congressman Alcee Hastings is no stranger to controversy. After his appointment as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida by President Jimmy Carter, Hastings was arrested on charges of accepting a bribe from the Mafia. According to the indictment filed against him, the judge agreed to enter a judgment returning nearly $1 million forfeited to the government in exchange for a six figure payment. After a criminal trial in the Federal Court where he once presided, Hastings was found not guilty. His defense was that William Borders, a long-time friend and associate, had used Hastings’ name without the judge’s knowledge to secure the bribe. However, that explanation found no favor within the ranks of the Federal judiciary or among members of Congress. Hastings was impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the U.S. Senate on the bribery charges, which resulted in his removal from office and disbarment. For his part, Borders refused to answer any questions about the matter either at Hastings’ criminal trial or at the impeachment proceedings. He has remained silent on the affair to this day, was convicted of the bribery attempt, and was eventually pardoned by President Bill Clinton in his last day in office.
However, Hastings’ checkered past did not become an impediment when he ran for office in South Florida’s 23rd congressional district. He was elected to Congress in 1992 and has represented that predominantly-African-American district for the past 18 years.
Today he is a prominent member of the Democrat leadership and sits in the powerful House Rules Committee. His comments made this morning in connection with the health care reform bill, scheduled to be voted on later tonight, provide a telling glimpse on the process which the Democrats have followed. In a nutshell, there are no rules. They make them up as they go along. Hastings’ words follow:
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