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Henry Hyde was an Illinois representative from 1975 to 2007 and was a powerful member of the GOP majority, chairing the Judiciary committee for 6 years.

Henry Hyde retired after his 2005-2006 term expired due to shifting demographics of his district and possibly health issues after a tough reelection victory.

He was a widower and is succeeded by four children and four grandchildren.

Link to ABC News (thanks brownsox)

Henry Hyde was a persistent and tough opponent of legalized abortion and crusaded against it while in the majority. He was also the lead impeachment House manager during Bill Clinton's impeachment and was accused of hypocrisy due to his own affair that he called a "youthful indiscretion" despite the fact that he was in his 40s.

But he also did some good things while in office:

  • he was one of the original cosponsors of the Family Leave Act
  • he promoted initiatives to globally combat HIV/AIDS
  • he also apparently disagreed with GOP on the Iraq war

He was the sponsor of the Hyde Amendment:

The purpose of the statute is to allow federal courts to award attorneys' fees and court costs to criminal defendants "where the court finds that the position of the United States was "vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith". In such cases, the federal court may allow victims to recover some of the costs they incurred in fighting the government's investigation and prosecution by authorizing an award of attorneys' fees and court costs to a criminal defendant when the prosecution's evidence is so baseless as to be "frivolous".

For all my disagreements with Henry Hyde, I express my deep condolences to his family and friends.

Originally posted to Chuckie on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 06:47 AM PST.

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