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. She's One Sorry Woman...

    Hillary is a Monster.. Scorched earth mentality.........................Sick of her..

    May 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. People are you listening

    Announcement: FL and MI will be seated as is. Super delegates give the nomination to Hillary.

    Hillary Supporter: About time the Dems do the right thing and give the nomination to the best Candidate. Obama supporter’s votes don’t count anyway. Obama wasn’t a good candidate because he wasn’t Hillary. Well now it is time for us to unite as a party behind the Democratic nominee. And if Obama is the great unifier, you will vote for Hillary because beating McCain is the most import thing.

    18 million Obama Supporter:……………………………….(stunned silence)

    Yep that is what it is going to be like if they steal this election from Obama.. The only difference is most of Obama supporters are not going to be hurting themselves when McCain is elected.

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

    In other words, it's official that HRC is helping McCain's campaign.

    May 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Beth in PA

    Some rules are meant to be broken.

    Rosa Parks was right to break the rules that said a white man was inherently deserving of a better seat than her.

    FL and MI are right to have broken the DNC's rules as well.

    There is nothing special about the people in New Hampshire and Iowa. They are no more intelligent, no better at vetting presidential candidates than people from other states.

    States that vote after Super Tuesday are tired of having the field narrowed for them, with no candidates left to vote for! We are sick of rubber stamping what the privelleged early voting states have already decided for us!

    I applaud FL and MI for breaking these rules, and I'm glad that the race has been tight enough to shine a spotlight on their plight.

    Whether they are seated or not, I hope that there is outcry for CHANGE after this primary season. I personally favor a system that would allow for regional primaries, rotating which region goes first every four years. This would certainly be more fair and democratic.

    May 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Jane, College Park, Maryland

    Amazing how Clinton supporters feel they absolutely MUST have their way. Some people need to learn that rules were actually meant to be kept, especially if you signed on to it in the first place (MI, FL).
    At the point, i think I prefer Karl Rove to the Clintons. I have never seen such a dangerous hunger for power. It must be why Sen Clinton agreed to remain married to Pres Clinton. If she does not get the Presidency, then she would have put up with his adultery for nothing.

    It is indeed a sad state of affairs.

    May 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. obama - supporter - arkansas

    there is no limit to what the clintons will do
    i knew when hillary mcbush went to fl she was going there to start all hell to break loose. hell we don't need the iraz was she has one going here. she still will loose and if she causes obama to loose in nov. she will never ever win. she is destroying our country.

    May 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Carmen

    Hillary is making the claim that this will be like 2000...well, the decision makers who broke the rules should have cautioned just that. The rules are the rules, just as both candidates agreed to back when the rules were broken. Why is it Clinton didn't care so much about the votes or the people of FL then? I am so tired of people fighting just because it benefits them. If you're going to fight for something or someone, make it a selfless gesture.

    May 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Paul, Tampa, FL

    They should be suing Steven Geller who co-sponsored the legislation that violated the DNC rules. What a hypocrit and moron.

    May 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. M Philllips

    Do the American people want a presidential nominee who agrees to one set of rules in writing and then uses threats and coercion to change those rules because she is losing? We will say nothing about her financial mismanagement or the playing of the race card( now the gender card)or the marvelously fluid southern diction. What's next Hillary? A hissy fit? Your craven behavior shames all women with their wits about them .And the super delegates are enabling this to continue. Shame on you!

    May 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Chuks

    The Super delegates are not stupid. No matter what happens to deny OBAMA the nomination is the end of the democratic party. Forget other demographics of Obama alone and think of AA votes that is the base of the party in strategic regions of the SOUTH. Think long and hard and PRAY OBAMA wins the GE because we have a scapegoat to blame if he fails and its Hillary and supporters.

    Its time for the democrats to decide if they ever want to win another election for the next 50 years or not. This is almost too shocking that BARACK is winning fair and square and the party that AA loves the most is trying to deny him. The democratic party has just dugged its own GRAVE and it remains to be seen if they will jump right in. My guess is YES they might jump in if un-educated people win.

    And about Hillary? Forget it! she can't win anything and will never win anything again with her new crazy behavior. Now we know why Democrats are no different than Republicans. You all better pray Obama wins the GE! Pray and work hard!!

    May 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Sante

    To Dona Brazil:
    Mrs.Brazil, you look like smart woman; hoot two rabbets with one bullet;
    Hillary/Obama ticket. for 4 years, than Obama/ somebody else.
    Two American dreams achieved. Obama gets the experience.
    /He can not afford the luxury of being a Primadona just write now and rejecting Clintons! Beside Clinton is a gigantic politician , respect HIM./

    And you Mrs.Brazil are famous, probably office in two administrations

    May 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Jamil - Dearborn, MI

    I think the lawyers who file this frivolous lawsuits should be disbarred. This is a party nominating process and not an election! How many different courts need to explain that the DNC is a private entity and not a government entity? This is explained in the first semester of law school!!!

    On another note, now that Hillary realizes that she can't win even if FL and MI count, her new argument is that Obama should get 0 delegates out of MI since his name was not on the ballot. I'm sure that will go over real well with his supporters here in MI – over 12,000 showed up to his rally here 2 weeks ago.

    May 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Linda from Prescott

    When is this going to stop. What is wrong with people. This isn't a general election, it's a primary. Are you all willing to sacrifice the white house, I guess you are.

    Hillary Clinton forgets to remember to mention she agreed to and approved of the rules...oh, but she was somewhat of the shoo in candidate at the time.

    Geez louise.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. GC

    Has anyone asked about those voters who stayed home because they believe their votes would not count are feeling about this? Are they upset about these delegates not being seated? If this was so important why wasn't concerns voiced from the beginning?

    What are we teaching our young? You may break the rules when it doesn't suit you? If MI & FL elect those fools back in office they deserve everything they get.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. km

    didn't someone already try this?

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Debby

    Dean is the biggest idiot he is ruining his party because he has a gripe with the Clintons. They had a resolution to do a revote that would have been paid for and Dean squashed it.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Jane L.

    The sheer number of hate-filled remarks unleased by Obama people in the "Comments" to many of these CNN articles is frightening. I surely hope the superdelegates are taking a look. If nothing else, the kinds of people that Sen. Obama has attracted so many of should make any delegate pause before casting their vote for him.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Tim, Seattle

    Excuse me, but isnt the meeting on the 31st to seat them fairly?
    More frivilous lawsuits...
    This is just more of Hillary's MALIGNANT NARCISSISM

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |

    I'm in Orlando, they said the votes wouldn't count so I didn't vote. This is so unfair. EVERYBODY IN FLORIDA DID NOT VOTE BECAUSE WE WERE TOLD THE VOTES WOULD NOT COUNT. So it seems to follow the RULES THAT WERE AGREED UPON IN THE BEGGING IS THE WRONG THING TO DO. Nobody is mentioning us voters who even followed the rules right along with the candidates. SHAMEFUL, TODAY I'M BLAMING THE SUPERDELEGATES FOR LETTING THIS FOOLISHNESS CONTINUE.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. David from Canada

    Between her unrealistic/unfair expectations for Florida and Michigan, her unfairly tagging Obama with genderism and Bill saying that Obama purposely pulled the race card (quite the opposite actually), the supers need to end this now, Hillary is acting reckless.

    May 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Kris

    Don't you all get it? This is a Democratic society where all people get a chance to be heard. When this process is comprised, it can lead to corruption and control of the most sacred of rights.....the right to vote. The votes should be counted by law and it was Obama who did not stand by the people of Florida and Michigan. He should have left his name on the ballots and stood up for the right to vote. But then again, he is spineless. Don't blame Hillary for fighting for those votes, she has the right too and should feel obligated to the voters of those states to keep fighting. The DNC could cahnge their minds, it is within their power. If anyone should get kicked a good one, it is the DNC and the jerk Howard Dean.

    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. PJ

    Sad Day – Then why the hell FL & MI agreed to the rules in the first place...Duh???

    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Kaygee

    I hope when they finally get seated that they'll tell "Sweetie" to go take a walk and take all his empty slogans with him.

    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Jeff in Alabama

    Regardless of what ever some party officials did or did not do in terms of party rules, the voters can not be punished for their actions. And their votes can not be deleted from the count.

    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Jatovi, NC

    In any other sport, padgent, business, court, and/ or function the rules are the rules. I ran track for years and I knew that if I stepped over the line in the or false started 3 times 100m dash, even by accident, I was disqualified. In Basketball if Shaq got 6 fouls, no matter how cheap, he is out of the game. The rules are the rules. I feel bad for the people who voted but they should not be mad at the canidates or even the DNC, they should be mad at the people who decided to break the rules. The craziest thing is that each party agreed to the rules so why at the "end of the game" do you get to change the rules? If you do isn't that stealing the election? If it isn't then explain to me how. Yes they voted but the front runner wasn't even on the ballot in MI so how is it even fair? To only point out that they voted doesn't make an argument. Why not a 55/45 split?

    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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