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In previous positions, Dr. Bacchus was elected as a member of the Democratic Party to represent Florida's 11th congressional district in the 102nd Congress and Florida's 15th congressional district in the 103rd Congress from January 3, 1991 to January 3, 1995, and was not a candidate for reelection to the 104th Congress in 1994.
From 1995 to 2003 he served on the Appellate Body of the WTO, rising to the position of chairman in 2001. He was the first American to sit as part of the Appellate Body. James Bacchus graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in history, earned an M.A. from Yale University and received a J.D. from Florida State University College of Law.