May 22nd, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 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. jim t


    OBAMA '08

    May 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. MLH

    What is so hard to understand here? This was a Democratic primary – not a general election. The party gets to make the rules, the candidates agreed to abide by the rules, end of story. This is yet another symptom of the 'the rules don't apply to me' syndrome that has infected this country.

    May 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Adam, Los Angeles

    Florida is getting on my last nerve! Can we vote them out of the union?

    May 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. AZM

    Gotta love this party... if the laws don't suit them... go to court... ha ha...

    It's like 2000 all over againg... only the same party fighting.... AAARRRGGGG.... when is this going to stop!

    May 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Hillary Is Scary As Hell

    I'm about to become an Independent and be done with the Democratic Party for the rest of my natural adult life.

    May 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Rod

    So based on previous experience this lawsuit won't mean much. It doesn't suprise me. Florida clearly broke the rules. It was based on Republicans in Florida messing up the date but still Florida broke the rules. It would be nice if we could start some litigation against the real culprits like the state Governor of Florida who is an idiot. If that man becomes Mccain's running mate I predict a mega loss for Mccain of epic proportions.

    May 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. The Austrian

    Suing the wrong people. I agree that it's unfair to punish the voters for the mistakes of Michigan's/Florida's Democratic Party, but it is equally unfair for the delegates to sue the DNC, especially when they weren't the ones who screwed up.

    To Michigan and Florida: You want justice? Hold your elected officials accountable–the ones who moved the primary dates and broke the rules–and claim justice for yourself. It's YOUR responsibility.

    May 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    I'm sure they'll be more to come when she losses. She'll find something else to complain about and then try to file a more law suits.

    I know she feels entitled to the nominee but she forgot to tell Obama

    Talking about sore loser

    May 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Marc

    The Party can't stop the votes being added. That resides at the Federal Level.

    May 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. ovitshio Branco from New Mexico

    What does it mean;
    it will barely dent Barack's delegate lead and if superdelegates keep falling behind him, Hillary may wake up Wednesday to find herself even further behind in the delegate math.
    With that said, it is time that we start behaving as USAmericans and not as White, Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Catholic, male, female, blue-collar, white-collar, college-educated, etc. individuals. In case you haven't been paying attention, foreclosures are sweeping the nation and have affected EVERY demographic CNN tracks (to our disadvantage); our infrastructure is crumbling; the price for necessities such as food and fuel are skyrocketing; we are fighting wars on multiple fronts and our military is stretched thin; later this year Medicare will begin paying out more than it takes in (the same is projected to happen to Soc Sec. in 2017). With all of this going on, watching many of you act like high school kids up for the prom queen/king ("I won't vote for her/him because his supporters insulted my candidate…") would be hilarious if it weren't so scary. Wise up people: vote for a candidate because you believe in their policies and that they will improve upon the current conditions. Regardless of who loses, all three candidates are wealthy and elite and you'll never see them at your local bowling alley, bar, shooting range or gas station.
    It's time that we remember, for which it stands, the 'Unite' in the United States of America. "United we stand, divided…"; I'm sure you can finish that

    May 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. teesha

    Hillary, you agree with the rules now because you are losing you want change the rules in the middle of a game. Hope this mess will turn against you cheater..

    May 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Chris

    If Hillary lost both states, what would she say then?

    She played by the same rules as every other candidate and agreed to them in recorded interviews (let alone most of her campaign came up with the rules)

    Additionally, many of Obama's supporters didn't come out in either state because their votes wouldn't count. Since many of his supporters are "first time" voters, there's probably an even bigger chance Obama might have won one or both states.

    May 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Edgar - Orlando, Florida

    scared of Hillary that you want to split the delegates 50/50 – Obama supporters are wimps and no match for real tough/mean Republican machine – Get ready.

    May 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. unions are not stupid

    cut there delegates by half same as the GOP. Award them 50/50 and call it a day! lets keep in mind here that Sen Clinton only cares about her presidential bid she cares nothing of voters right she made that clear when she said those small states don't matter and she is screaming that she is ahead in the popular vote only way she is if you don't count any of the peoples votes in caucus states .

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. NickNas

    Well SCREW the rules and Laws of this country. If Florida gets ANY Special Treatment after it was THEY who chose their own Fate then EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD in the US should be able to get out of ANY contract ANY Agreement and disobey ANY LAW!!!

    These people are all acting like spoiled children and entitled pitiful losers.


    Florida USED to be known as a great Vacation spot now it is known as THE STATE THAT CANNOT EVEN RUN A SIMPLE ELECTION.

    May 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. steveda - poconos

    Wait... the entertainment is just beginning!!! This is Hillary's last stand. If she loses in the Rules Committee she loses everything. The fact that she is willing to cause this great a rift in the party, and convince millions of democrats that their party has disenfranchised them says it all. She is not a Democrat, she is a ME-crat. She could care less about the party, she only cares for herself and her career.

    Up until this, I was willing to accept her as a potential VP candidate, but now, sorry, I have no use for this woman. Based on these actions i would be surprised if the remaining superdelegates didn't come out and end this thing now to stop the damage she is causing.

    May 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    R.I.P., Democratic party. It was good while it lasted.

    May 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Von Bismark VIENNA


    May 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Nita

    Take Obama's nomination away from him and watch the world go in complete outrage...

    May 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. joe

    Neither candidate campaigned in Florida or Michigan, and these primaries were run well before all the media attention put the candidates positions in print. So how can anyone say with a straight face that the results were based on informed voters? We were all told that these two primaries were beauty contests and would not count – please don't tell us that we were lied to.

    May 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Debbie,NJ

    Keep this up democrats. McCain may as well go on vacation until Nov at this rate. The Dems will be fighting until then. The DNC should bring a lawsuit against Hillary for creating this chaos because she is looking for a way to win. If she doesn't win, the Dems don't win. SHe'll do everything in her power to make sure of it. This is a primary, not a general elections. Popular votes alone done't win the primary. She doesn't even have the popular vote. COunt the caucus state votes and Obama wipes her out with FL and MI.

    May 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. ATLian

    Go ahead and seat them. She will still be behind.

    May 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Sad Day for America

    Any rule that takes a voice away from a tax-paying American citizen should be illegal in the first place.

    Oh and "Hillary Is Scary As Hell" – buh-bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    May 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. SLO Bear

    Superdelegates need to watch the slithering of Clinton's surrogates as she tries to steal this incrementally. Courage, already!

    May 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Sheanne

    Neither candidate campaigned in Florida. Since Obama ran TV ads there and his name was on the ballot the vote should stand. He lost and just can't accept it.

    May 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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