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. CWatson

    I think the suits were just PR. The courts have consistently held that the party sets the rules. I doubt this is much of a surprise to many.

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Reality


    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Girl in SC

    What happened to democracy, where EVERY vote counts? Nice job FL court system. You have proven once again the failure of the justice system!

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Douglas -- Rochester, MN

    Finally - a semblance of sanity and common sense!!

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Floridian Drama Mamas

    There's a problem with Florida voting every year. Why can't they get their act together? Maybe they enjoy the controversy? If not, maybe it's time Florida residents start looking for new leadership.

    May 28, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Glenn

    This idiotic lawsuit would never have even been filed if Hillary and Bill weren't pandering to their supporters and hoping to drum up hate and dissension in the Democratic Party. The Floridians truly would have to be idiots of the first degree if they thought Hillary cared one bit for them as people or voters. All she cares about is Hillary and being nominated regardless of who gets hurt and power.

    May 28, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. DoneWithDems

    It must be pretty discouraging to cast a worthless vote but then again you dems are systematic about it.


    May 28, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Susan

    Thank God! If they take it to the Supreme court, they will not even get thru the front door. Hillary and her minions continue to run up their campaign debt, and her supporters will end up paying for this lawsuit thru their donations. Wake up and smell the coffee. She lost fair and square! As a woman, she does not represent what I want my daughter and grandaughter to grow up to be. She is acold, manipulative lair, We need integrity in the White House. OBAMA 08!

    May 28, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Caroline

    Oh please no not the Supreme Court......of course they will NOT hear it.

    Clinton is Nuts. Anyone continuing to work for her is also Nuts. It's just a political party's nomination, not Voting Rights Direct from God.

    Go away all you Clintons.

    May 28, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Randy - Denver

    Oops guess this tactic did not work for you either Ms. Clinton.

    the FACTS are these:
    The PARTY can SELECT a candidate in any manner they choose. Period, simple, straightforward. Even the crocodile tears of the wealthy Clintonsistas in Florida cannot change that fact.

    We DO NOT live in a Democracy, and NEVER have. The FOUNDING FATHERS made sure of that. They spoke out against Democracies as the tyranny of the mob. The founding fathers wanted, and we HAVE, a Representative Republic! They developed the elctorial college to ensure that tyhe mob votes were tempered by electors who understood the realities. They wanted the average person to voice their opinion but they wanted those who KNEW the REALITIES to make the choices.

    This is the right decision and I suspect that the Supreme Court will refuse to even see this case.

    May 28, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Manuel TX

    Roland and the other Obama supporters can claim a "process" victory and Obama can go on to win the nomination. Congratulations.

    The voters in MI and FL will have their say in November.


    May 28, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Dave

    Sure bring up the past of Florida Democratic leaders screwing up their elections processes again...Terrible and misleading ballots in 2000 leading to the hanging-chads and Bush v. Gore, then their party leaders defiantly move up their primary fully-aware of the consequences.

    Florida Democrats: do something about your party leadership.

    May 28, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. bruno nana

    it is quiet obious that Sen Clinton want to divide the party.but at the end of the day,we will prevail and win back the white house
    Bruno nana
    Obama supporter

    May 28, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. sozzi

    Rules are Rules. CAN NOT change the RULES after the game has started.

    May 28, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Roland the Race Baiter

    Welcome to the Roland Martin race baiting channel. Martin will pretend that the nomination is stolen even though neither candidate can get the pledged delegates they need for nomination. The only people who have crowned Obama as the nominee is Obama himself and the biased left wing media.

    People like Martin will incite race riots. He needs to be removed from CNN.

    Moderate Dems for Hillary!

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Don't Vote

    Ronald Martin/Howard Dean,

    You both step down!! You both are not democratic!! Howrd Dean you mad a stupid rule!!! You being the DNC chairman how can you make a stupid rule!!! You need to step down!! We lost in 2000 and we don't want to loose again!!

    Go Hillary!! If not resolved go until the convention!! Stay Strong!! If Obama is the nominee we will not vote. When we had a chance for re-vote he could have considered that option!! Obama is undemocratic and so is Howrad dean and Ronald Martin

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Michael

    I don't feel sympathy. Florida broke the rules and they should remain punished for breaking them.

    It doesn't matter if Obama and Clinon will get half the votes, it's just better that Florida and Michigan just owe up to what they did and just sit it out.

    Shame on Florida for breaking the rules, and for voting for Hillary. They all should have known better.

    Revote in Michigan, and have both candidates on the ballot, it still won't count but it will be fair.

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. carolinas

    Well said Martin:
    Now it is clear that ' RULES ARE RULES" one can manipulate as they want to. ..Shame on Clinton's.

    OBAMA 2008.

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Montana is Obama Country

    Ya Know .... If Florida can't get it right during the "mean" season... they should not be allowed to vote in any presidential race.. primary or general election... It is Florida's dems own fault for not getting the vote out when the RNC won the state.. The geriatric vote shows just how much dementia is a problem in Florida voting process...

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. FLorida

    WOW, what Hillary has done!! First she agreed not to seat the Fl votes and now that she is losing she cares? incredible !! That tells you what kind of women she is..
    I live in FL and if we broke the rules, then we have to pay for it, that's why we have rules!! I voted for Obama btw sad my vote can't count, but if rules were broken then this is the consequence and I accept itQ!..

    May 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Linda31

    Question. Why didn't Florida think about this BEFORE changes the primary. They were warned in Sept 2007. They STILL held the election in January 08. That is 5 mths.... They were also many other states that wanted to change their primary dates, but did not because they knew what would happen. Florida residents need to address there complaints to their government because they are the one without regard for their residents.

    May 28, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Debbie,NJ

    Even if Florida's votes were counted Obama would still have the popular vote. THat's what people need to understand. This isn't a fact that anyone is highlighting, not the media and certainly not the Clintons. Many of the Hillary supporters don't want facts. They just listen to her and BIll's rhetoric. Go to and get the facts. Even with FL Obama is still in the lead with the popular vote.

    May 28, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. paul in memphis

    clinton supported the idea from the beggining and now she is trying to scramble what ever she can get to win the nomination.please someone tell hillary to stop tearing this party down and move on with her life as a senator.

    go obama the judge has spoken so be it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. David Newport, OR

    If my 6-yr old child breaks the rules knowing full well what the punishment will be, should I give in to his whining once the punishment is implemented? Some people have underlying motives to make this an issue.

    May 28, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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