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. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    This is really a shame and a slap in the face to the DNC. The DNC and Howard Dean needs to man-up, grow a pair and tell Hillary and her faithful Clintonites that the Florida and Michigan votes, "ain't gonna happen!"
    Just when I think I don't like Hillary, she takes it to another level. I don't hate anybody, but she is REALLY pushing it! She is making the entire Democratic Party look like a bunch of idiots because she refuse to follow the rules she agreed to, before this race started. The Superdelegates and the DNC must be afraid of the Clintons, because there is no way on God's beautiful earth that this would be allowed by any other person. Especially by an African American named Barack Obama.

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. RICARDO PHILLIPS OF D.C

    "IF I CAN'T WIN IT I'LL STIEAL IT"

    "UNITED WE STAND, OBAMA IN DEMAND"

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. New Sensation

    Shame on you, Florida. Your goose was cooked months ago.

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Karen P

    Florida and Michigan state leaders KNEW the rules and disobeyed them. The WRONG people are sued, the DNC made rules. It was widely publicized what would happen if Florida and Michigan ignored the rules. The candidates signed pledges. Many voters did NOT show up knowing it wouldn't count.

    These are not FAIR elections and manipulated, now by Clinton.

    No one should do anything UNTIL the DNC meets at the end of May. If Clinton was so concerned, she should've requested suits at the BEGINNING of the campaign. She allowed it to go this far.

    And 1.75 million voters did not go to the polls because they were told the votes WOULD NOT COUNT. so we're even.

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Enlightened Voter

    I think we all know the Clintons are behind this, we knew it was coming we just weren't sure what they had up their sleeve. Here is the funny thing though, GOD always has the last word.

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Kay-Arizona

    About time. Elections are about people being involved, not standing in the corner because they were naughty. The DNC should be ashamed playing with delegates like they have.

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Tony

    Let the Games Begin!

    May 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. All Are Welcome

    Why is Florida even allowed to vote? I knew Hillary and her team of lawyers would steal this-when she referred to FL/MI's primaries as being similar to a 3rd world country, I guess she was referring to herself as the dictator behind the scenes pulling the strings.

    May 22, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Hillary Supporter

    Words coming out of Obama’s mouth…

    “bitter people, clinging to guns and religion”

    “ I did not feel it was my responsibility to serve in the military”

    “Rev. Wright was my spiritual advisor”

    ….and the list goes on

    What comes out of one’s mouth, directly reflect the thoughts and beliefs of what is in one’s mind..
    Obama will NEVER win the general election, the DNC will have FAILED yet AGAIN to win back the White House-what a shame.
    As an independent, who leans democrat…..I am appalled by the lack of leadership from the DNC….starting with Obama and his whole crew.
    Don't count on us Clinton supporters to help this bozo put come Nov.

    DNC-start your searchnow for a viable candiate for 2012-you've lost this one.
    DNC

    May 22, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Charles Lemay

    I wondered how long it would be until The Clintons came down
    to this.

    Barack Obama will coming to the end of his second term as
    President of the United States, and The Clintons will still be
    suing in federal court to have his first election overturned.

    These people are pathetic...

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

    Seat them. Hillary will still loose.
    Get over it dear.

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

    RULES ARE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Eddie G

    Superdelegates....please endorse Obama now and send Hillary packing. She is on everyone's last nerve.....oh, except the blind followers who forget what lying, cheating, horrible people the Clintons are. Oh, and Chelsea....please, let her go back to her meaningless life.

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Robert

    There is NO stealing of the primary! Obama did NOT win yet! Who is stealing what???? The Obama followers are celebrating victory of something that has NOT been won yet. Hillary has nothing to do with this lawsuit. People you are pathetic. She won both states, that's a fact, however these things need to play out and you can't eliminate 1.7 million people, the people did not do this; the politicians did...might we all remember it was the Republican governor that did it...wake up people...this is the exact reason we are devided. Bull like this, stop attacking. these people have a right to their vote and Hillary has a right to the votes; she won. If the shoe were on the other foot; the very same thing would be occurring. Remember; he has not been nominated yet, and when they seet Florida and Michigan; the count goes up to 2210...and again neither will have the nomination.

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Lynne

    No one in any campaign is asking that no one be seated from the delegation, even though the penalty that they risked was 100% stripping of delegates.

    We all want them seated, but there should be a penalty because of them not sticking with the schedule that was laid out. It was a rule and they were aware of it at the time. We have to have rules in life – in baseball, doing taxes, etc. Rules were created over the course of 2 years with lots of input from Dem members.

    Sen. Clinton is telling voters in Florida and Michigan that the Democratic party is treating them unfairly and blaming the rules imposed on Obama's campaign. This is a rash and hostile action toward the party that has supported the Clintons through so much.

    If she would like to run in 2012, she is going to find it hard after this to get much support from the Democratic party.

    In addition, if she is so electable – why didn't she win the nomination 12 months ago?

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Dee, MO

    Hillary is upset because Obama is not offering her the VP spot. But, if Hillary steals this nominee, she is guarantee to lose in Nov. I would rather Obama fail before any Clinton ever gets back into the WH.

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. dgh629

    Many people can't stop talking about "Florida broke the rules", like there are no general election voting Americans involved. Get real, people in Florida are angry and ready to vote out the Democratic Party completely. They have a bill prepared that says the Democratic nominee will not appear on their ballot if the issue is not resolved. Makes sense, why vote for someone now when it did not count earlier? Perfect touche for the DNC.

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. glenn from Canada

    Am I the only one who can see clearly the big picture? The Democrats need to rid themselves of the Clintons. What example is this for our children, CHANGING THE RULES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME!
    Super-delegates please go to Obama!

    May 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Mission Not Accomplished

    Obama needs to brush up on his math skills…
    you need 2210 delegates to win not 2205. There are 50 states in America, not 48. SD's aren't America's voices and they should not be counted until after America has voted and chosen their candidate not yours. The popular vote is America's choice not the elite few with promised positions. And a little lesson I learned when I was 5 years old. Cheaters never prosper.

    May 22, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. unconvinced

    I think they could be seated acording to the way the vote went , With Edwards votes in Florida going to Obama and the undeclared votes in Michigan going to Obama. which would be close to 50% each in Florida and 55% for Clinton in Michigan and 40% going to Obama.

    May 22, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. JIM WHITTAKER, Hemet, Ca

    This really starting to get funny.

    The Clintons are becoming a cartoon!

    Old woman yells at cloud!

    May 22, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. JJ

    This situation is totally getting out of hand. Hillary wants the people to rally, lawsuits are being everywhere. If a rally gets out of hand, that will be on Hillary's shoulders not Obama or the DNC committee.

    The only peope that should be held accountable are the elected officials from MI and FL that went on and broke the rules.

    They are the ones to blame and if I were living in either of those 2 states, I would rally go get those offiicals kicked out of office or not re-elect them.

    May 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. sb

    Liar, Liar, Liar. For the country's sake, throw her out of the party.

    May 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Concerned

    I really don't care much for Lou Dobb and hate to think that we will be in the same party. But now I see why he's an Independent.

    My husband and I will also become Independents.

    May 22, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. martin

    good luck.two others have tried,and the judges have said the dnc has a right to enforce their own rules.

    May 22, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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