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Photo: Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) passed away on Tuesday, ending his lifelong career fighting for civil rights and his 15th term in Congress, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He was 84.

Why it matters: Hastings was a civil rights lawyer and Florida's first Black federal judge, though he was later impeached due to allegations of bribery and perjury. He was also one of the first Black members of Congress from Florida following Reconstruction, and the dean of the Florida delegation, the Sentinel notes.

  • Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2018. He'd been in hospice care in the days leading up to his death.
  • He was a Florida native and an alumnus of Fisk University and Florida A&M University.

President Biden said in a statement on Tuesday, "Across his long career of public service, Alcee always stood up to fight for equality, and always showed up for the working people he represented. And even in his final battle with cancer, he simply never gave up."

The big picture: Hastings is survived by his wife, Patricia Williams, and three adult children. He will be replaced via a special election — for which the date will be set by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Biden's statement.

Go deeper

DeSantis milks "60 Minutes" spat

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally with his eyes on the White House, is dialing up a dispute with "60 Minutes" — seizing on a juicy chance to ingratiate himself with the GOP base by bashing the media.

Why it matters: It's a political gift akin to all the Fox fodder that Sen. Tom Cotton gobbled up after the N.Y. Times revolt over his op-ed.

Updated Apr 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Florida governor clashes with "60 Minutes" over COVID vaccine rollout

A screenshot from "60 Minutes" of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: CBS

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution partnership with Publix grocery stores weeks after the company gave $100,000 to his PAC, CBS' "60 Minutes" reported Sunday, citing campaign finance records. DeSantis and Publix deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for directing vaccines toward wealthy communities, with some who benefitted from the vaccine pop-ups also donating to the governor's political action committee, per Axios' Tampa Bay reporter Ben Montgomery.

The states ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early

Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least 12 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.