Monday, March 22, 2010

Out of the Mouth of the Impeached Judge

In 1981, Alcee Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence and a return of seized assets for 21 counts of racketeering by Frank and Thomas Romano, and of perjury in his testimony about the case. He was acquitted by a jury after his alleged co-conspirator, William Borders, refused to testify in court (resulting in a jail sentence for Borders).

In 1988, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413-3. He was then convicted in 1989 by the U.S. Senate, becoming the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States be removed from office by the Senate. The vote on the first article was 69 for and 26 opposed, providing two votes more than the two-thirds of those present that were needed to convict. The first article accused the judge of conspiracy. Conviction on any single article was enough to remove the judge from office. The Senate vote cut across party lines, with Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) voting to convict his fellow party member, and Sen Arlen Specter (R-PA)(at that time) voting to acquit.

The Senate had the option to forbid Hastings from ever seeking federal office again, but did not do so. Alleged co-conspirator, attorney William Borders went to jail again for refusing to testify in the impeachment proceedings, but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.

I'm pleased to see that he is a man of consistency, and one who continues to make up his own rules as he goes along... Constitution be damned.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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