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. lee

    Hillary tried to use any thing possible to be the nominee. She, as wife of Bill Clinton, feels that she owns the presidency before clinching the nomination. As Russia's Czar, she thinks the Clinton brand is the almighty political brand.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Venus


    This is GREAT! Ha,ha,ha! I guess every one knows what this ruling means?

    "You cannot violate the rules of the process and then expect to get forgiven for it," as per Howard Dean!

    I can't wait for Hillary supporters to jump on this blog...he,he,he,he!

    I am warming up to hearing Hillary's last speech next week and the look on her face!!!!!!!!!

    President Obama 08/12

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |


    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |

    How dare these people try to compare the rights of african americans or Bush vs. Gore to this situation!!! These states are not being punished for the color of their skin and I don't see anyone stealing 10,000 votes and giving it to the other party... They broke the rules!!! Nobody even cared about these two states until Hillary lost 11 straight contests.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Jonathan Brou

    Clinton will do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means lying to the nation. It reminds me of Nixon.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. lori in california

    we should of known something was up when she showed up in florida to campaign when the other candidates all agreed to not campaign there. the day before their primary there she was...

    it's too bad clinton won't relent and save her reputation. when the primary season started, i was voting for her, but as time moved along, and listening to what obama had to say, i switched my vote to him.

    she continues to prove me right...along with many others, i am sure...

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. nj voter

    Clinton is trying to get Obama to loose by splitting the party. If Obama looses I will blame her. I will now never vote for Clinton. This is coming from a person who was torn between the two in the beginning.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. No McSame

    As we tell our kids"rules are rules" plain and simple. Hillary is killing our chances of winning the election. It's time to move on. Super Delegates take charge and shut it down.
    Hillary for the thousandth time signed the paper with the rules on it and agreed with it and now she wants to cry foul when she needs them.
    Bill come and get your wife and take her home. We have had enough of her for a life time. It am just glad that she is yours and not mine.
    NAVY Vet. for Obama

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Cris (Atlanta)

    I am a white woman in her 50s–part of the demographic that, theoretically, places me in Hillary's column of "supporters." Unlike Hillary, the accomplishments to which I can personally point as having been achieved by me, are actually accomplishments that I achieved in my own name and through my own struggles. The accomplishments themselves may not be many, but they did not come to me by way of any man.

    Hillary Clinton has run a disgraceful, dishonorable, hateful, and ultimately disasterous campaign. Heaven forbid that the American people give her to opportunity to do to the country what she's done to her own campaign.

    If Hillary and Bill Clinton are expecting to manipulate my natural sympathies from one woman to another, they are sadly mistaken. I have no sympathy for any woman who would say or do anything for the sake of personal ambition or who would allow herself to be so publicly humiliated by a man because that man provides her with the wherewithal to achieve her goals.

    Time for you to go home, Hillary. You are no sister of mine and no role model for any woman seeking to achieve high office.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. HH

    Its time to put the Clinton campaign to bed. After next Tuesday under the 2025 rules Obama will be around 5 delagates short of the nomination. Even under her rules he will only need a handful more of sueprdelagates. Do the Clinton supporters really think they are going to take this away from him. In the Democratic party we elect by delagates not by states,electoral vote,popular vote or any other silly answer you guys come up with. If we elected on popular vote Al Gore would of been the president. These rules have been around forever and did not just happen overnight or when Queen Hillary entered the race. If the rules were reversed you would of seen Obama gone along time ago. But now the Clintons are complaining about Obama how its his campaign, and supporters fault because they failied. When they enetered the race all I heard is its the superdelagates and the delagates that would hand her the nomination, now that she is behind in everything she is grasping at anything and throwing bogus claims out at everyone. I wish everyone tho would save your fire against Hillary and start yelling at superdelagates to end this. There names are posted on the interenet they are not secret.

    Hillary has also ruined any chance at being VP. After what Geraldine said and Hillary said about RFK. We all know her only hope is something horrible to happen to Obama. If we all learned 1 thing from the campaign we all got to see the true side of Clintons, and what they believe and stand for.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. GINA, OHIO


    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Seun Craig

    I don't understand how in a country like this with all the emphasis on fairness and following the rules can this be taken to court. There is clearly rules set upfront that Florida and Michigan knew about and still decided to make decisions based on.

    Now it's time to pay for the decisions made and they instead are trying to change the rules. This is essentially a moot argument as they made a decision by moving their primaries up to not be seated.

    Personally, the idea that this is comparable to the civil rights era where these people were not allowed to vote is wrong and drags the issues and the fights they endured into the mud. There is a marked difference between not being given a voice and deciding to make a decision even though you were told how it affected you.

    I hope in the end that this goes away, because it will tear the DNC up.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Scott, Charlotte

    Florida ( like Michigan ) blatently ignored warnings from the DNC and broke the rules by moving their primary. Clinton agreed with everyone else at that time that their flawed primary results would not count, and they would not be seated.
    Now that she is hopelessly behind, she suddenly feels that "the Florida people need to have their votes count !!". I'm sure she'd be spouting this if she'd lost the FLA primary, or if she had a lead without them.
    Hillary is a selfish, arrogant , rule-breaking politician who cares ONLY for her personal career ( not any of you Florida voters) at the expense of the Democratic party.

    Can you people not see she is blatently trying to hurt Obama's chances in the general election, so she can run again in 2012 ?
    She only cares about herself, not the Party, not YOU.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Let's summarize the complaint in the lawsuit: "Waaahhhh!!!!

    While the Clinton supporters are "looking out for the Florida voters", they just tacked on a frivolous lawsuit that their taxpayers will have to pay for. Ever wonder how their campaign ended up $20M (and counting) in debt?

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Jan

    What an insult to women. Lies, Lies, and more Lies. She should complete her campaign with dignity and grace, not like this.

    May 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Jeff

    This is just sick. The rules were clear more than a year in advance. These are rules that everyone agreed to, including Senator Clinton. Florida and Michigan knowingly broke the rules all the while knowing what the penalty would be.

    It's deceiving on the part of Senator Clinton to now act as if she's standing for disenfranchised voters. And then to also make it seem as if somehow Barack Obama has something to do with these votes not counting is deception at its highest level. The game was played fairly and she lost. How anyone can justify her arguments is beyond my understanding. It doesn't matter who you support, Clinton is just wrong on this issue.

    And let's also not forget that the ones who KNOWINGLY broke the rules AND their consequences, are some of the same ones now crying foul. This issue needs to be put to rest and the truth told to the Michigan and Florida voters. Your state elected officials let you down in a big way. It wasn't the DNC or Obama. Clinton, again, is just plain wrong.

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. john williams san diego, ca.

    this lifelong grab for eternal power and the lies that have ensued by a very evil woman is going to do more harm not only to her party but i hope also to her senate more lies and deception.

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. DEBRA GA

    Howard Dean Should be fired he knew this would happen in the begining he should have stood up for these 2 states and treated them the same way the other 3 states that held theres early was done so all there votes could be counted .it just isnt fair to fl or mi to be treated this way . and Hillary did win fl she should get all the votes she won there and obama did not want a redo in mi so she should get those also and anything other then that will be unfair to her .and she should take it to the convention if they dont give them to her the party has allready been devided over this so whats to lose now fl mi and half the dem will not vote for obama in nov anyway

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Kenneth M

    WHAT IS WITH THIS GUY DNC Kevin Rodriquez (VI)? HE HAS Switched from Obama to Clinton. He switched from Clinton to Obama on 5/10. We got confirmation from the Clinton campaign that he has re-endorsed Clinton. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? PERHAPS HE SHOULD BE STRIPED OF HIS ENDORSMENT POWERS. ITS LIKE DEALING WITH A CLOWN.

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. MN Indy

    Maybe an analogy can put this into perspective...

    So you have two baseball teams about to play in the World Series. All games are played according to the rules set by the MLB, which both teams agreed to before they joined the league. Team A ends up winning the series. After Team B loses, they say that they would have actually won if one of their players wouldn't have been suspended for steriods. Team B's fans say they were cheated and threaten to boycott baseball and watch NASCAR instead. The MLB decides to let them make their case.

    If this happened anywhere else but in politics, it would be the joke of the year.

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Theo

    "the past few days, her surrogates, and even Clinton herself, have ramped up the talk about sexism."

    She's laying the groundwork for a 14th Amendment challenge at the Supreme Court.

    It's a DEMOCRAT thing. When you cannot win fairly, you SUE...

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. MJV Tampa

    Go Billery GO keep up the good work make up your mind not do what works for you at the moment how would you do that as commander in chief...... SCARY

    Senator McCain next President!!!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |




    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Jill American

    The great Shirley Chisholm once said that she was discriminated against much more for being a woman than she ever was for being black.

    Sexism, like racism, does indeed exist and to think that one, but not the other is being played in this race is naive and just plain irresponsible.

    As far as Folrida is concerned, anyone that didn't go out an vote can only blame themselves. Did they learn nothing from 2000?

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |

    Girl give it up i love you, try for governer of NEW YORK. Obama will make a great president, let support him and bring the party together, for some reason the odds are against you girlfriend. i was with you from the start and then i got discouraged and went for Obama, BUT I FORGIVE YOU HILL, LET'S LOCK IT UP!

    May 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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