May 22nd, 2008
03:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Florida delegates file lawsuit to get delegation seated

A DNC official addressed a crowd gathered at DNC headquarters in later April protesting Florida's situation.
A DNC official addressed a crowd gathered at DNC headquarters in later April protesting Florida's situation.

(CNN) – Three of Florida’s Democratic delegates filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in an attempt to force the Democratic National Committee to seat Florida’s delegation at the convention.

Steven Geller, an uncommitted Florida superdelegate and a Florida state senator; Barbara Effman, a pledged delegate for Sen. Hillary Clinton; and Percy Johnson, a pledged delegate for Sen. Barack Obama, have alleged that the DNC violated their constitutional rights to equal treatment and a fair process by stripping Florida of all of its delegates to the nominating convention because the state held its presidential primary prior to a date specified by the national party.

“This litigation addresses the view of Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee that 1.75 million Democrats can be ignored at will,” Geller said in a statement released Thursday.

The DNC said the lawsuit had little chance of success. "In two other cases so far, the courts have upheld the Democratic National Committee's right to establish and enforce its own rules regarding the selection of delegates to the Democratic Convention,” said DNC spokesman Dag Vega.

In late March, the federal appeals court in Florida upheld the dismissal of another lawsuit filed in an attempt to force the DNC to seat the Florida delegation.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC is set to meet May 31 to hear appeals from Florida and Michigan Democrats to allow the seating of both states’ delegations at the summer convention in Denver.

soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Michael - Texas

    THE DNC JUST GAVE UP THE WHITE HOUSE THIS YEAR, BECAUSE THEY WONT MAKE HRC GET OUT.

    GOOD.....

    YOU WOULD THINK THEY WOULD LEARN FROM 2000 & 2004.

    GUESS NOT

    May 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. James

    Hillary 2008, 2012

    This is a case of prejudice agaist Hillary Clinton and the millions of voters in Florida and Michigan. It is also a warning to all Americans that we must defend and even fight for our consitutional right to vote and have our votes counted according to the results of elections.

    Political parties cannot deny Americans their right to voice their opinion in any situation. Dates are not what determine our consitutional right to vote. This is a very dangerous precedent for Americans if they accept to have their right to vote taken away from them.

    The DNC made a very bad decision and should rectify it instead of humiliating Americans in Florida and Michigan as if they were criminals. Alienating voters and worse entire States is not the goal of the DNC yet this is exactlly what is happening. People are ready to turn away from the Democratic Party and not vote for their candidates because of what this violation of voter's and State's rights.

    May 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Brett

    WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND? THEY VOTED AND THEIR VOTES WERE NOT COUNTED. PLAIN AND SIMPLE: NOT FAIR.

    May 22, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. chris (hartford, ct)

    As a voter in a small early state, this offends me. We're completely overshadowed by Super Tuesday and it could be argued that my vote is nearly totally meaninless in a primary. No one comes to campaign in CT (or at least my part of the state), I didn't even see any signs/supporters outside of the actual date of the primary. What kills me is that Florida and Michigan ARE ALREADY IMPORTANT! They're huge states, no one is going to not campaign in Florida, so why try to break the rules and move themselves up? It's ridiculous. If this is allowed to happen, all of the small states should move their dates up to Jan 1st just to stick it to these idiots.

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Ben (New York)

    Rules

    Why are you Obama dems so scared to have these states counted.
    Because you know then she will have the popular vote. They are neck and neck right now – and is shoudl be doen fair and square.

    He knows she is the real nominee...all states shoudl have their say. She is our only hope against McCain as the polls states she is the only electable one. Obama has big problems in the swing states as well where the polls say she will wup Mccain

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    Oh my goodness... This is crazy...why don't the SD just endorse Obama and get it over with. With all this craziness going on. It's really turning me off.

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. I am America

    If a tax-paying citizen is pulled over for speeding they get a ticket. It's known that if you speed you get a ticket. It's the law, it's a rule!

    The rules were in place and Michigan and Florida violated. Their votes will count in November, just not now. End of discussion... move on!

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Alex H

    Sue all you want... you're not going to win.

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Jerry, Florida

    While these protesters are standing on the corner like Hillary has them
    brainwashed, will someone with an IQ above 10 please explain to them when you stop at the traffic light just WHY the FL and MI votes won't be counted?

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. John San Francisco

    I have been Blogging and sending e-mails to CNN warnung them that the Clintons are planning on breaking away from the Democratic Party.

    Hillary feels no loyalty to the Democratic Party then those who she feel has abandon her Campaign in the past 3 months.

    I warned the Media Networks that it is clear what the Clintons are doing.
    They are racking up as many suppoters as possible under the disquise of running a Primary. When in truth, they are planning to creat thier own Politicle Party. They are going to attempt to turn many on Democat against the Democratic Party.

    There is a Conspiricy by a number of high ranking Democrats who support the Clinton's on lets say, who owe favors to Bill Clinton and are actively underminding the DNC.

    Hower Dean, you need to put a stop to this right now. Enough with this soft approach to Hillary. Or give the Nomination to Hillary and see if she gets in office. If she is so bent on estroying the Democratic Party, then let her Legacy go down with it.

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Mary

    Hillary is shooting SNIPER FIRE when she says that she doesn’t want to disenfranchise the FL & MI voters. We all know this only has to do with her trying to win.

    Do I have any proof? YES!

    Hillary has said on more than one occasion that its ok to ask the PLEDGED Delegates to switch to her side. So there goes this disenfranchising the voters theory. Its just more SNIPER FIRE headed your way by Hillary.

    And the other joke is that she agreed to these terms in 2007. That’s when she thought she could disenfranchise people and get away with it since she was the inevitable nominee.
    Remember early on(actually even now) she thought so many groups are not important and don’t count?

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Patty

    Percy Johnson, an Obama Superdelegate is one of the three filing the lawsuit. Why are people blaming Hillary? Do you people even read the whole article?

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. CR

    There's already been one lawsuit about this in Florida, and it failed. And MLH is correct. Not a Federal election, and the party gets to make the rules.

    Hillary's camp voted for the rules, then she broke the rules by not removing her name from the Michigan ballot as requested, and now she wants to change the rules to suit herself. Her comment today about this being like Zimbabwe, a rigged election, is so offensive, she needs to be drummed out of the party for good.

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. kingsley

    this is strong arming. its such a disgrace for the clintons to feel how entitled the are to this nomination. I will hope Obama put him in the cabinet as the janitor

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. MICHELLE&OBAMATOOSCARY

    Are you kidding me? Take away (steal) Obama's nomination? Who said he was already the nominee?

    S H A M E O N Y O U O B A M A & D N C!!!

    You Obama's supporters are nasty and overly aggressive, and you supposed be college educated? LOL...

    May 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Those folks I am sure are ALL Clinton Supporters. Time is running out FAST and for Hillary to get the max they will have to get this done SOON. The DNC will make a decision that is fair to all concerned not just those that failed to obseve the law. If they had not voted as they were instructed we would not be having these issues... CACUSES will be the best for all concerned.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. FLewis

    Hillary makes me sick, sick, sick. Why is CNN giving Hillary this much power to control the race. Shame on you CNN. You are always pampering Hillary and I'm sick of it just as much as I'm sick of her.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. gerard morei

    Count all the votes and send all the Obamaidiotas to Kenya where thay belong.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. rumpusgoopus

    Superdelegates, I know you’ve probably been waiting to let this process “play itself out” and only make your endorsement only after all the Primaries are held. Well, you’ve allowed the Party to become more and more split by your non-action, and in the past few days, we now have events like this. If you care one iota about keeping your Party together, if you have any inkling of a desire to win in November, it’s time to finally act to end this nonsense that is doing nothing but angering both sides.

    Plus, if you act now, maybe all the delegates from Florida and Michigan could be seated as is anyway.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. To: Von Bismark, Vienna

    I totally agree with you! "SHAME ON BOTH THE CLINTONS"!!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. YouthForAmerica

    This is so rediculous. If you don't care for the current rules, do something about it after the election. To put up this big front after you signed on the dotted line is an insult to the people in Floridan and Michigan. There is no way that the votes should count as is when everyone was told their votes would not count. It is time to take responsibility for the decisions that you make. Hillary, you have shown that you are not the leader that this country needs at this time. If you had any integrity you would stand by your word. There is a time for everything and this is not it.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. SAM2008

    just one person tell me why you hate HILLARY

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. disenfranchised

    JOE YOU ARE WRONG! I WATCHED TV ADS ALL WEEK LONG BY SENATOR OBAMA MORE THAN A WEEK PRIOR TO THE ELECTION. HE RAN TV ADS ALL DAY LONG AND AT THE POLLING CENTER HE HAD SIGNS POSTED. HILARY CLINTON PLAYED BY THE RULES, HE DID NOT! AND SHE STILL BEAT HIM BAD, DOING NO CAMPAINING... I AM SICK OF THIS DELEGATE ISSUE. OUR VOTES SHOULD BE COUNTED, I WENT THERE TO VOTE FOR MY CANDIDATE, AND YES WE ALL KNEW THAT THE REPUBLICAN HELD LEGISLATURE IN OUR STATE, MOVED OUR DATE UP, AND THAT THEY WERENT GOING TO COUNT. BUT WE VOTED ANYWAY. TO PROVE OUR POINT, THAT WE THE VOTERS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS AND SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED ONCE AGAIN IN THIS STATE NOT TO HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD. IF OUR VOTES ARE NOT SEATED, I WILL WRITE IN HILARY CLINTONS NAME. I WONT VOTE FOR MCCAIN BUT I WONT VOTE FOR OBAMA. AND I WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP CALLING THE CLINTON VOTERS RACIST. HIS RACE WHICH BY THE WAY PEOPLE IS HALF WHITE(SOMETHING HE HAS FORGOTTEN) IS NOT THE ISSUE. ITS HIS ATTITUDE HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND JUDGEMENT. I CAN NOT VOTE FOR SOMEONE I DONT LIKE OR TRUST. PLEASE POST THIS, PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR THE TRUTH. WHY CANT YOU OBAMA VOTERS UNDERSTAND ITS NOT ABOUT THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN, ITS ABOUT WHATS RIGHT AND WHO WILL WIN THIS ELECTION.

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. KENTUCKY W. VIRGINIA

    florida has the last word, join the club with us florida!, the Obama people want to steal this nomination from hillary. we don't want him, hillary deserves it for her gracious campaign! an honorable campaign, barack and his supporters have been so unfair to poor hillary. THE JEWS WONT VOTE FOR HIM, US HILL BILLIES WONT VOTE FOR HIM , YOU EDUCATED PEOPLE CAN ALL MOVE TO EUROPE!

    May 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. chris

    Hillary one FL once nad she'll win it again...re-defeat Obama, yesS HE can!! Go Hillary, 08 is your year!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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