March 21st, 2008
12:09 PM ET
15 years ago

Appeals court throws out suit on Florida delegates

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The DNC rendered Florida's January vote meaningless. "]ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A federal appeals court Friday threw out a Florida man's suit over the Democratic National Committee's decision to bar Florida delegates from the party's national convention, saying he had no standing to file suit.

The ruling by the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals affirms a lower court order that found that Victor DiMaio, a Florida resident who sued the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party, "undeniably lacks standing to bring this suit ..."

DiMaio claimed that the DNC announced refusal to seat Florida's Democratic delegation because the Florida party violated DNC rules on scheduling its primary violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Middle District Court of Florida ruled that DiMaio could not file suit under federal rules because his "complaint does not assert any actual or real controversy with the DNC or the FDP." The appeals court agreed.

The DNC said it was pleased with the ruling because it affirmed previous decision that "national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate selection rules."

The suit stemmed from the DNC's decision to strip Florida of its convention delegates because the date of the Florida primary was moved up without party approval.

Filed under: Delegates • Florida
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Stone

    The states were told 18 months prior to making the switch what would happen if they moved the primary dates. They should pay for their decisions.

    March 21, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Jacqueline for Obama!

    Ron, if experience, judgement, and morality got us to the point where we (the United States) are now, I would definitely hate to see 8 more years of that! I don't hate anybody, but I'm sure millions will agree that these last 8 years, specifically the last 5, have been a complete mess which needs to be cleaned up with a fresh, new face, and new perspectives on change and unity.

    March 21, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Yolanda

    To HEIDI: Let's start getting used to the sound of Pesident McCain. The democrats have messed these primaries up way too much for a democrat to win. Mark my word: Obama will win the democratic nomination, McCain will win the presidency in 2008, and Obama's once so promising political career will be over. A real shame.

    March 21, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Judy

    Someone should represent all persons that voted in both Florida and Michigan if we still believe that every vote counts. Let's proceed and get these votes counted. This is absolutely ridiculous. If these were Senator McCain's votes or former Gov. Rommney's votes or former Gov. Jeb Bush's votes who may one day be a candidate, would we care then??? I would care just as much. It appears we do not care because of gender differences. Surely our country has advanced beyond this???!!!

    March 21, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Disenfranchised again

    We can not continue to call ourselves a democracy until the will of the people is respected. Here we are disenfranchised again and blamed for the chaos. What a joke!!!

    March 21, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Best

    Votes should count for every one. But it seems to be funny how one of the Dem's seem as though they only want that if it will help them. Emm...Hilary...I was undecided...but Im now an obama supporter..

    March 21, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Rose

    Why is it unAmerican not to seat those delegates? Weren't they told before the elction that they weren't going to count? Why wasn't Hilary kicking up a fuss then? In our house, no means no, not something else later on when you want a different answer. Split them 50/50 and shut up about about it.

    March 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. John

    Newsflash for Florida and Michigan voters: Obama will win the election without voters among you who claim they will vote for McCain.

    March 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Yeswecan

    It just shows how bad our court system is.
    Any party can not stay on top of voters. If they do, they will lose in the general election. DNC's decision will split the party, not unify the party.

    March 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Ronald

    What? Clinton couldn't lie her way into cheating in FL? How rigged is this election anyway?

    March 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. I used to be a Democrat

    Congratulations DNC! You have already lost both Michigan and Florida in the general election!

    March 21, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. MP-Pennsylvania

    Pleas go sue your state leaders who disregarded the DNC rules and brought up this mess on you. Primaries are conducted like orgainzations who decide which member of ther club/organization choose their nominee. To keep the membership you need to follow the rules.

    March 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. JennyM

    The state governments disenfranchised their residents and they should be voted out at the next election if the people are not happy.

    Hillary said the vote did not count – period.

    I agree with seating the delegates but not in a way that if favors one or the other. They cannot be allowed to influence the election . They knew the rules, they played chicken with the DNC and lost .

    If these Democrats choose not to vote in the NOV election - they only hurt themselves. If they want another 4 years of Bush/McCain then don't vote.

    But don't whine for the next 4 years how the economy stinks and the war is a waste . just don't whine

    March 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Teresa

    I love the comment shared by Travis.

    Thanks for making your very good point so well!

    I needed a laugh!

    March 21, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. R Hayward

    I like the way that this article left out that the court also said it “raises a number of interesting and potentially significant questions” and that they gave suggestions as to what needed to be changed to refile.

    There are reasons for checking more than one news source. Since the truth is often in the middle, its usually constructive to check everything from the Huffington Post to The National Review. Real Clear Politics also usually has links to good articles and is one of the few that is allowed to post an entire Roll Call article.

    March 21, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Ehis Olu

    The Democrats are giving the Republicans a smooth path to the White house. With these type of actions , several unhappy democrats would rather give their vote to a deserving Republican just to drive home their point. DNC, hear this ; there is still time to fix things , otherwise you will have your supporters ushering John McCain to the Wwite house..

    March 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Jeremy

    Is it me or does Hillary look older as of recently? Desperation tends to make one age quicker.

    March 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Brenda in SC

    i seen CNN is maintaining their usual unbiased state.

    March 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Ehis Olu

    The Democrats are giving the Republicans a smooth path to the White house. With these type of actions , several unhappy democrats would rather give their vote to a deserving Republican just to drive home their point. DNC, hear this ; there is still time to fix things , otherwise you will have your supporters ushering John McCain to the White house..

    March 21, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Why oh why

    Why is everyone crying and carrying on now about the vote not counting? Why wasn't there so much outrage when it was decided?

    Rules are rules and I wish people would stop blaming Obama. Everyone had the rule book at the start of the races now stick with them.

    March 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. errrr

    It is really funny to see that DNC hailed a decision which makes MacCain the next president.

    March 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. big_puppy

    Well while we at this point of revote or do over for Florida and Michigan we might as well revote or do over the entire election because everyone that voted already by the rules may not be satified with the do over in these two states. Maybe Ohio would want a do over since Hillary's papers came out and show that she was in favor of the NAFTA program and lied to the people about how she was against it.

    March 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. An American on the outside looking in!!

    It is not fair if the sit the delegates as is!! Why is it that Billary is always trying to change to rules to her advantage!! He is like a whining child when she doesn't get her own way!! I do believe that they should have a re-vote!! That would be fair for everyone

    March 21, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Медведев

    Okay, I don't want to see Florida mentioned ever again in the headlines regarding the re-vote. This is absolutely the end, no glimmer, no spark, the fire is completely and totally out. Let's move on to Pennsylvania.

    March 21, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. lamont anderson pa

    the republicans have taken this country into a recession.and i hillarycan't see how anyone that has a hard time paying bills can vote this novembrer for a republican.hillary can't win michigan and florida are out,thay had there turn to the only way hillary can get in is to take this campion to the convention floor and have the super delegated pledge her.

    March 21, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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