The Senate decided Friday to postpone until next year the impeachment trial of U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings, Florida’s first black federal judge.
Senators, on a voice vote, approved a resolution delaying the trial until the 101st Congress, which convenes in January. It also recommended that a committee of 12 senators, rather than the full body, hear the misconduct charges against Hastings.
The House impeached Hastings on Aug. 3 for charges largely related to his 1983 bribery and conspiracy trial, in which he was acquitted. If convicted by a two-thirds’ Senate vote, he would be removed from the bench and lose his $89,500 annual salary.
Under the arrangement, the 12 senators would hear most of the case, with the full Senate receiving a report from them and listening to closing arguments before voting on the 17 articles of impeachment against Hastings.