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. Sara


    May 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. sharon M

    The rules are the rules. They should not be changed, amended, deleted from etc... in the middle of the game. To ask for special privilege is really pushing the boundaries. Mrs. Clinton, although she is a female, must still abide by the RULES. No special privileges in this contest for being a WOMAN!

    Obama 08' & 12'

    May 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Sarah L., Fayetteville, AR

    This is getting beyond ridiculous. Millions of people didn't vote in Florida because they knew the rules. There is no disenfranchisement here. There's not even a Constitutional right to a primary. What part of this is so difficult to understand?

    Acting like this is somehow another "recount" is beyond stupid. Clinton isn't ahead in the popular vote–even with Florida. She's only making this case because she's losing and, in the process, she'll destroy the whole party with her.

    May 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Griff

    Justice must not only be done... It must be seen...... To be done..

    May 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. LifeLongDemocrat

    The unseating of the two delegatations is part of the continuing effort of Howard dean and others in the party to keep Hillary out of being the nominee. She was the presumptive nominee and no one else was in site. All of a sudden a bored senator with one year under his belt declares himself for the race and many party elders supported him.

    My question is what do those elders want FROM him? AND, why did they want to keep a viable woman from the nomination. Sexism? MMMmmmmmm, maybe. It's been 24 years since a woman was on the ticket!

    Do I have to wait another 24 years? I'll be long gone. What are you guys afraid of? That she'll outdo you?

    Let's write-in Hillary and get her elected as an independent. I'm from Minnesota and Ventura ran as an independent and did it.

    Write-in Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Chris

    Let me guess... this is "Sexism" and another reason why she "lost" – it's not "her" fault and she represents "all women" according to her.


    I have yet to see her congradulate Obama on any of his wins – he takes a moment to do this for her after every state she wins.

    May 22, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Ben

    Does it mean that one can break laws and rules as one facies?

    May 22, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Nando, Florida

    They will be seated when Barak tells them to be so when he is the Nominee!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. D

    Hillary is failing to acknowledge that she herself said the FL and MI votes wouldnt count. Now that she's losing, she is acting as if she wanted their votes to count from the beginning. I used to like Hillary a lot, and i still think she could make a good president, but it is the deceitful, hypocritical, do-whatever-you-can to win attitutde that is now making me support Obama.
    Of course, when she does that, like the fake, populist, gas-holiday, some people buy it and keep supporting her. Its is not wonder she has the most support among the least educated.

    May 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Emeka, Florida

    The Florida voters should have gone to court to challenge the decision of their leaders in the first place. Its like people do not understand what agreements are in the first place. This is exactly similar to reneging on a peace agreement. I'm ashamed of Hillary and her supporters.

    Emeka, Florida

    May 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. sozzi

    Smells like the Clinton's...

    May 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |


    If this is about popular votes...then lets count every vote. Not just Michigan and Florida but lets also count every caucus vote. I hope the DNC and everyone is reading this. If we are changing the rules to popular vote...then lets count my vote in IOWA. smart, her supporters are smart.....lets count every vote.

    THANK YOU!!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Jeanne, San Diego

    I think the court will say that the DNC has the right to enforce it's own rules, which Florida violated. Florida & Michigan should be penalized. Having said that, I think Florida & Michigan will be seated in some fashion.

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Xango 4

    The sadness of this whole thing is that the orchestrator of this mess in the party, is laughing it off..........yes cruella devil (HRC)
    Billary agreed and signed and now she wants to undue the rules, by using the people, lying and using people agains tpeople..
    she is getting away with it again...
    while every vote counts, why did she agree and signed..
    and why i CNN like Limbaugh saying nothing about what she agreed with ???

    you know she wont stop at that, even if they allowed FL and MI to be counted, if she does not have her way by stealing the nomination, she will the, move to sue the DNC, then Obama, then the whole country,
    the billarys are like the rest of the rules in the world, they are so hungry for power that will stop at nothing, besides now they have finally publicily announced that they are paving the road for the princess chelsea since the king and queen are starting to have dementia......... (mmm lies...)

    so, no matter what is done for FL and MI she will not rest, because it is not about the people_ it is about billary getting back into the white house, so that she can make millions, so that billy boo can have affairs with interns and so that chelsea has a secured political carreer, she loves the dynasty.............

    CNn please report the facts, and these dont include your king and queen clinton..............


    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Patricia Leviege

    I Ditto everything Ovitshio Branco says.

    I think Hillary is to blame for the division the democratic party is facing. I use to hear the republicans say she will do anything to win. It is sad that she will stoop to such measures as to divide the party.

    Listen, the leaders in Florida and Michigan new the rules and they even agreed to them as did Hillary. Now that it is not in her favor she crying foul.

    Instead of her leave with dignity and be thankful to the millions of people who supported her and registered, she rather make this thing so ugly even to the point where it damages Barack. THis man has run a positive race and if it had not been for her attacking him it would not have gone so negative.

    What a shame, I actually did love the Clintons, but this race has showed their true colors.

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Marcus B

    I wish they would give the DNC the chance to come up with something first. They haven't even started talking yet and they are already taking it to Supreme Court. I believe this all stems from Hillary Clinton's last HIGHLY DESPERATE PLEA in Boca Raton on Thursday. I encourage you all to watch that speech and just look at her face. You could see the angry depseration in her eyes. I was literally intimidated by her watching that speech. It's almost pathetic, the lengths she's gone and the empty arguments she's come up with. If and when she finally does lose this nomination, after all of the antics, her political career will be over!

    Obama/Sebelius/Biden/Dodd/Richardson/Hagel 2008!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Daniel, Loganville. Ga.

    Thank you Sen. Clinton....SHAME on you i guess if you couldn't have no one will

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    The DNC has said they would seat FL and MI delegates! They will and should penalize he states to prevent other states from moving their dates whenever they feel like it. The actions taken by Hillary and her supporters are so undermining, deceptive, and divisive but they don't want to see this or are too blinded by ambition to see this.

    I pray that the residents of NY are being able to see Hillary in her true light and vote her out when she comes back up for election.As a former New Yorker, I hate the fact that this carpetbagger is one of our two senators!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Linned

    What's all the hoopla about? The Rules Committee will meet on May 31st and seat the delegates in a manner that is fair to BOTH candidates.

    What does she think the superdelegates are just going to give it to her????????????

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Duane in Philly

    A re-vote would be much worst for Obama than seating the delegates as is, because if a primary election were held today in Florida, he would lose by even wider margins than he did in the initial vote.

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. New Day

    Why is such a big deal? Edwards' 15% would side with Obama and it would be a 105-99 delegate split. For Christ sake, get it done already. Who cares about a net gain of 6 delegates?

    May 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. pglover

    The Clintons are sore losers. I had a lot of respect for them but this stunt is ashamedly disgusting. The candidates all agreed that the votes would not count, signed the agreement but now because Hillary is behind, she cries fowl. She's saying now that she wants all votes to count. What about the people who did not go out to vote because of this? This is what I say is disinfranchisement. No way you look at it, all votes will not will not be counted. Hillary and Bill, get over it.! Bill had his chance and he's trying to split the party and cause the people in Florida to turn against Obama by continuing to push his wife out there. She lost Bill. Sit down and shut up.

    May 22, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Pandering

    Hillary at work! There is no stopping Hurricane Hillary! She will stop at nothing until she get the nomination. It is no strange reason that as soon as she is visiting Florida this lawsuit arises.

    May 22, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Tim


    May 22, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Realistic

    Since Hillary agreed that Michigan and Florida would not count, she and the other candidates need to contribute to the DNC their cost of defense of the lawsuit.

    Oh wait, her campaign is not only broke but $30 million in debt.

    Clinton / Lewinsky '08

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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