May 28th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Florida court throws out DNC suit

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A Florida court threw out a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Democratic Party's decision not to seat delegates from Florida."](CNN) - A Florida court threw out a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Democratic Party's decision not to seat delegates from Florida - as litigants prepared to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Political consultant Victor DiMaio and his lawyer Michael Steinberg had compared the party's decision to earlier prohibitions against allowing African-Americans to vote and invoked the trauma of the Florida recount in the 2000 contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush, both arguments also used by Hillary Clinton to support the seating of the state’s delegates.

"This is nuts. This is not right. How can they remove Florida after all the things that Florida has suffered through– hanging chads, through Bush v Gore, and they're sticking it to us again," DiMaio said before the hearing.

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean says the situations are not comparable.

"You cannot violate the rules of the process and then expect to get forgiven for it," he said.

Judge Richard Lazarra sided with the party, saying political parties have the right to make their own rules.

DiMaio's is the second Florida lawsuit protesting the Democratic Party's decision to be thrown out of court. An earlier one filed by Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Alcee Hastings, both Florida Democrats, was also dismissed.

soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. Roland Martin

    In the past few days, her surrogates, and even Clinton herself, have ramped up the talk about sexism. There is little doubt that she is trying to stir the ire of her female base and push them to demand that she either be the nominee or be given the vice president slot. But it's really about the former rather than the latter.

    In Florida on Wednesday, she invoked slavery and the epic civil rights battle against Jim Crow in her quest to count the vote in Florida as-is.

    Forget the fact that she once said the states wouldn't matter because they broke the rules.

    Forget the fact that many of her supporters on the Democratic National Committee's rules committee supported the stripping of delegates in Michigan and Florida.

    And forget the fact that her chief supporter in Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, signed the bill into law that allowed the state to move up its primary.

    Clinton and her supporters now discount all of that and act as if they were always champions of the "disenfranchised" voters in Florida and Michigan. But they weren't. And the record is clear. Only when it became apparent that she needed the states' delegates to close the gap with Obama did she change her tune. She said one thing in Iowa and New Hampshire and now is saying something else.

    The Clintonites don't want any compromises in Michigan and Florida. They want the results to stay the same, even though Obama's name wasn't on the ballot in Michigan and all candidates signed an agreement not to campaign in those two states.

    May 28, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Frank

    Thank god! the rules are the rules. play by them or not at all!

    May 28, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Obama will win.

    Today, 3 new superdelegates announced their support for Barack Obama. This includes Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party Pat Waak, Chair of the Oregon Democratic Party Meredith Wood Smith and Guam Senator and Democrat National Committeeman Ben C. Pangelinan.

    May 28, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. seah

    Bottom Line The DNC does care about the people.

    Now if Florida was needed to help Obama, the votes would be counted.

    The DNC and high powered Democrats Play God and political fixer.

    May 28, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. ltd1974

    Good bye Hillary! The only reason why you want Florida and Michigan votes to count is because game over for the Clintons. Last year everybody agreed and signed documentation, and then in Hillary own words she says" Michigan and Florida will not count". Wow!

    Go Obama '08

    May 28, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Army Veteran

    The important thing is this: A DEMOCRAT MUST WIN IN NOVEMBER.

    A vote for McCain is a vote AGAINST Veterans!

    Don't back the man who stabbed us in the back!

    Veterans are ashamed of McCain.

    Speak out Veterans!!

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Eric

    The reason is because just like 2000 you'll screw everything up again. And instead of defying what the part said you could have just moved your primary back to when it was supposed to be. This goes for Michigan as well.

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    Ha, Ha, ha, sorry hillbots, getting down to the wire. June 4th cannot come fast enough. The day I dont have her diaherha mouth will be a good day!

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Dave

    come on DiMaio. you break the rules/law and what do you expect? That the rules don't apply to a Clinton?

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Zia

    I second that decision. Now lets throw HRC out as well.

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Rules are rules

    Why do people start a game with rules and then in the middle want to change them? We are behind by threes points...lets make a field goal worth four so we can win....give me a break and get over it...Florida and Michigan knew they would be tossed out and still proceeded to do what they did....

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Veterans for Obama

    No McCain vote for me!

    May 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Honest man for Obama

    Oh Court why don't you agreed with Hillary Clinton?

    She and Bill gonna call you court sexism, be careful what you wish for. You should have agree with her rules because she is above all rules.

    Why don't Hillary leave the democratic party to form her own party?

    She wants to decide for the leader of her party, instead of following rule that was strongly agreed upon.

    Her actitdue is disgusting, the Clinton are eager to go back to the White House by all means.

    If it is possible for the Clintons to buy their way into the White House they would have done just that.

    It very clear that she can't win the nominee ,but yet she continues to push and criticize the leader of her party for not agreeing with her or not following Her own rules.

    She doesn't take no for an answer, either she have it her way or no way. Now she is waiting for negative possibility to happen with Obama so she can steal it from Him. Is't that desparate to suggest that something negative might happen along the way and that will give her the nomination?

    DNC please follow Hillary/Bill Clinton's rule so that we will have rest of mind.

    Hillary have you found someone to do your dirty laundry?

    May 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Cammi317

    Good! You can't dismiss the rules set in place and then try to negate your punishment by using your own picked and chosen rules. They need to be suing their state legislators who moved up their primaries, not the DNC.

    May 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. MD

    While I agree with the ruling, I fear that if the DNC chooses to not seat Florida or Michigan, it will have a negative affect in November. And I say this as an Obama supporter.

    But that is a choice the DNC has to make for themselves.

    May 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Rick in Florida

    BYE BYE HILLARY............IF YOU HONESTLY (are you familiar at all with that word??) thought FL and MI voters mattered, you and your key campaign managers wouldn't have SIGNED OFF on the agreement NOT to seat the delegates, NOT to campaign, and NOT to count the votes. Your DUPLICITY is showing. Now its PAY-BACK time. BYE BYE

    May 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Joe

    Good! Get this mess over with, and get Obama to the general election. Clinton is not electable, not honest, not trustworthy, not wanted!!! They'll waste their time taking it to the Supreme Court and lose, too! It's about time Howard Dean showed some backbone in this thing with his comments above. Now we need the superdelegates to show some backbone and move to Obama's side. Hilary is not getting nomination, no VP, no respect, and NO votes! She has shown herself to be a complete cheater, liar, and unqualified wannabe. And tell Bill to just shut up! He's not the President anymore!!!

    May 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Hillary Clinton Liar from Day 1





    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Vietnam Veterans Against McCain

    This man is not fit to be president.

    There is an entire Army of Veterans (and a website) that do not consider this man a hero.

    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. After further review,Texas

    Wow abiding by the Law,what a novel concept.

    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Willy Brown

    The party of “the people” who wanted selected votes counted in Florida in 2000 now wants to block voters. Priceless.

    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. No Way

    So now Hillary's world will start to crumble in around her. Will she finally see she has lost? No, there is still a party left to destroy further. Thanks!

    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. vic nashville,Tn

    Don’t worry HBO ready for Recount 2008

    May 28, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Finnegan

    If you don't like the rules of party, leave the party. If you are voting McCain in lieu of Clinton you probably aren't paying attention to the issues anyway.

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Independent

    Thats right. Rules are rules. If you let Florida vote as they want to, why wont then DNC let other 49 states vote as they please and whenever they want to? Its called fair democratic elections, thats why...

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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