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Seriously?

The Washington Post reports that a Democratic House leadership would likely name Rep. Alcee Hastings the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and that the Congressional Black Caucus is insisting on this, given that Rep. Hastings is first in line because of seniority; Michael Barone reports that "Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is said to be determined to [name] Alcee Hastings" to the spot.

In 1989 the Senate removed then-federal judge Hastings, convicting him of conspiracy to take a bribe and perjury; the Senate vote was 69-25, and on one of the counts the vote was 34-21 even among Democratic senators alone. Hastings had been acquitted at his criminal trial some years before, which is to say that he wasn't proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But shouldn't the standard for deciding who'll be head of the Intelligence Committee be more than just seniority plus he hasn't been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

UPDATE: Whoops — I inadvertently dropped the "likely" in "would likely name" when I first posted this post; sorry about that, and thanks to the commenters for alerting me to this. The "likely" is my interpretation of the Postarticle, which reports that Harman, the other leading candidate, seems to be almost sure to be off the committee, that skipping over Hastings would be "problematic," and that "skipping over Hastings might cause a real rupture with the Congressional Black Caucus, Pelosi aides fear," though the article also says that conservative Democrats are opposed to Jefferson, and that a compromise candidate has been suggested. Barone, on the other hand, reports that it's said to be certain; and while he's conservative and might have a jaundiced view as a result, he also knows a very great deal about current politics, so I'm inclined to credit his reporting on this.

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