March 21st, 2008
12:09 PM ET
7 years ago

Appeals court throws out suit on Florida delegates

The DNC rendered Florida's January vote meaningless.
The DNC rendered Florida's January vote meaningless.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A federal appeals court Friday threw out a Florida man's suit over the Democratic National Committee's decision to bar Florida delegates from the party's national convention, saying he had no standing to file suit.

The ruling by the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals affirms a lower court order that found that Victor DiMaio, a Florida resident who sued the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party, "undeniably lacks standing to bring this suit ..."

DiMaio claimed that the DNC announced refusal to seat Florida's Democratic delegation because the Florida party violated DNC rules on scheduling its primary violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Middle District Court of Florida ruled that DiMaio could not file suit under federal rules because his "complaint does not assert any actual or real controversy with the DNC or the FDP." The appeals court agreed.

The DNC said it was pleased with the ruling because it affirmed previous decision that "national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate selection rules."

The suit stemmed from the DNC's decision to strip Florida of its convention delegates because the date of the Florida primary was moved up without party approval.


Filed under: Delegates • Florida
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Sean

    That is fine because us Florida voters do have the right to change parties from the one that stole our votes as punishment for the actions of our goverment, and we will be voting for McCain in the fall if our Jan 29th votes are not counted!

    March 21, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. sandra adams

    Hilary Clinton wants to change the rules of the game because she is loosing.

    She uses people and she cheats as well.

    I wonder why people are still voting for her? can't they see through her?

    March 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Nando, Florida

    A wonderful thing called Democracy is getting in thway of the CLINTONS!!!!

    March 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. ANGELA

    now that hiliary is losing to senator barack obama in pledge and popular votes, now she wants to change the rules to benefit her selfish and political motives. All she seems to care about is power. the american people don't mean anything to her and her husband bill. Enough of the clintons, let's move on to unity. angela orlando florida.

    March 21, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Florida Independent

    Thanks alot DNC. By not counting our Florida vote in the primary, you have made it an easy choice for us in the November general election!!!

    McCain '08 is now the only choice you've left for Floridians.

    March 21, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Dave

    Obama fears the revotes in MIchigan and Florida
    Fears greater Democracy? His preacher preaches hate! So where
    is this change in Washington going to come from? Hope in what?
    How is the dialogue changing again Obama supporters? Sounds
    like the same old nonsense to me. Only with worse to come.

    March 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Ciele

    no need to comment... Cnn's also is not woring. Comments are never posted.

    March 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. mike

    It is not Barack Obama's fault that the votes for FLA and MI were not counted. And don't blame Obama for wanting a fair revote or no revote. All candidates agreed to follow the rules. The individual states are to blame and they know it. Ironically, if they had played by the rules, their votes would have been the most important, given how close this race is.

    March 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. CR

    Perhaps you Hillary whiners need to re-read the following, previous decision by another court:

    "national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate selection rules."

    What is it about "constitutionally protected right" that you don't understand? This ruling was not based on some whim. It was based on precedent.

    March 21, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Mike

    It's funny that a lawyer would even try to file this suit. Nobody has a constitutional right to vote in a political party's primary. The political party decides who their candidate will be. They hold primaries to determine who their nominee will be, but they don't have to.

    Your constitutional right to vote is in November, where you vote who gets elected (not who gets to run on a political party's ticket).

    March 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Yeswecan

    Obama fears the vote from Florisa and Michigan, period. He did not win any large state. To Obama, get rid of all the voters in Florida, Michigan, Texas, New York, and California are the best for his purpose.

    March 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. John

    CR-""This ruling was not based on some whim. It was based on precedent.""

    Indeed...if this precedent was set in 2008, imagine the chaos of the primary schedule in 2012.

    March 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. JAMES IN BAMA

    I AM WONDERING DOES THIS MEAN IF THE DNC WANT TO IT COULD SAY THROW OUT PRIMARIES IN ANY STATE IT CHOSES? COULD THE DNC TELL A CERTAIN DISTRICT IN A STATE THAT THEI VOTES WILL NOT BE COUNTED? COULD THE DNC TELL A GROUP OF VOTERS IN A CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOOD THAT THIER VOTES WILL NOT BE COUNTED???? THAT IS WHAT THE RULING STATES! I THINK THE PRIMARIES SHOULD BE HELD TO THE SAME SCRUTINY AS THE GENERAL ELECTION; OR AS WAS THE 2000 ELECTION EVEN A STEP ABOVE!!!! IM FORM ALABAMA, AND AS THE COURT RULED, THE DNC HAS THE RIGHT TO THROW OUT THE VOTES FROM HERE...ON THEIR BASIS FOR THE RULING. AND DOES THIS SET A PRESEDENT FOR MAYBE VOTES NOT BEING COUNTED IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. I THINK MORE LAWSUITES SHOULD BE FILED BY ANNYONE WHO IS FINANTIALLY ABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR VOTE IS COUNTED!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE, IF YOU DONT COUNT EVERY VOTE THAT WAS CAST HOW CAN YOU EXPECT THE PEOPLE OF THAT STATE TO THINK THAT THE PARTY IS WORTH THIER FOTE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION?

    March 21, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Sean from SEATTLE

    How many of us here attend caucuses? Probably none.
    Only those have no job or no life to have time to go caucuses. Obama only won by a handful of people. Primary vote has more meaning and he won only few.
    HILLARY should be a nominee as she won most of primaries in ALL big States, including Florida and Michigan.

    March 21, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Desire - Michigan

    Why Howard Dean wants republicans in the office for another 4 years?
    Does he really thinks that people in Florida and Michigan would come out and vote in November? Most of them would stay at home and watch McCain having a party.

    March 21, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. SC Native

    to: MP-Pennsylvania

    I like your general idea, but not your method. Your idea to punish those who actually caused this – the legislatures and governors of the states of Michigan and Florida – for their decision to not follow the rule of the DNC is spot on. Where I differ with you is in your method to get to that point. Governors, Senators, and House members have immunity from lawsuits against them as a result of their voting record, much the same as judges do based upon their rulings. a lawsuit against the individuals is not the proper re-course.

    What I hope to see the states of Michigan and Florida do, though, is to not re-elect those who did not protect their rights. this is the best possible re-course, and will send the message loud and clear. Florida and Michigan, look up who voted to do this, and remember that when their name makes a ballot next time around!

    March 21, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. xavier

    It looks like Florida and Michigan will not have a voice in picking the nominee. That is a shame, and it was a situation that was created by the DNC. Not by Obama or Clinton, although I think that Clinton exacerbated the situation by promising to get the votes to count and blaming Obama when it didn’t happen.

    Florida and Michigan got the shaft, but the general election is a brand new ball game. If those states truly believe that we need a Democrat in the White House and they vote Republican out of Spite, that is NOT the fault of the DNC. THAT would be the fault of Florida and Michigan voters.

    I know you are upset, but voting Republican is your choice, and the consequence of that vote is also yours.

    March 21, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Brenda

    I think it is time for a real Independent Party and President. Hillary should look into to running as one. It worked for Lieberman!

    March 21, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. lamont anderson pa

    don't blame howard dean florida and michigan knew what thay were doing when thay moved up there primary so get over it

    March 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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