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. Deb

    Roland I think your desperation is showing!

    Do you realize your guy who is no longer a viable candidate is now known as?

    "The Left Wing Nut Job in Training Pants!"

    Hillary is the only nominee who can win back the White House and she has been fighting to get the votes counted and your guy has stopped it (for his own Political gain).

    Hillary 08

    May 28, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. jfs Memhis, Tn

    As well they should.....Hillary should not have signed the pledgenot to run in both Florida and Michigan. I believe that would be considered and agreement to a contract in order to run within the party. Sort of the rules that each candidate agreed to. This is a shame......but neither state will have a leg to stand on. The Supreme Court almost always supports the individual states rulings in these cases. The Supreme Court believes in Supporting the State Courts. Sorry Hillary folks....these states will have to go with what the DNC chooses for them. These voters ALL KNEW that the Elections would not Count LONG before they chose to vote. In reality these elections were not FAIR TO THE CANDIDATES WHO WERE RUNNING AT THE TIME AND WHOSE NAMES AND CAMPAIGNS DID NOT PURSUE VOTES IN AGREEMENT WITH THE DNC RULES. That included: Edwards,Biben,
    Richardson, etc. None of these folks were counted either. We should not reward the Clinton's or any candidates who chose not to go buy the rules. These are the cold hard facts....

    May 28, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Kenneth M

    5-28-08 – Added DNC Pat Waak (CO) for Obama
    – Added DNC Meredith Woods-Smith (OR) for Obama

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Good for the court.

    Next time, DNC, if you are going to penalize the states for moving up, please just penalize 50%, or any other ratio, but not this – not count at all things. You created confusions and Obama paid a price for following the rules. I hope you have learned your lessons. And states will want to move up because they want a stronger voice. I know, I live in one of the latter states, and in many elections, the candidate has already been chosen by the time it gets to my state and feel what it's like to not have a voice. But this is just the primary, not the general election.

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Karima

    Here's my question, why can't Obama win in November, he beat the Clintons' and their "machine", while STICKING to the rules set by the DNC!! He has been the underdog in this whole process, he has been put through the ringer a few times, and he is still standing. Clinton is attacking him like he was a republican or a member of another party, it's amazing to see the truth once the light is turned on. I can't believe I bought that wolf ticket back in the 90's!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Ryan

    Clinton, can you explain why you supported the stripping of all delegates and why even your campaign manage played a role in taking the delegates away, but now you suddenly want them back? Isn't that disenfranchising all of the people who didn't vote because they knew the rules said their votes would not count and what about all the people in MI that didn't have an opportunity to vote for anyone other than you? Is it democratic to have an election with only one choice on the ballot?

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Will in Richmond, VA

    Please, we're losing our heads, and soon, we will lose the election too. We have to get past these nonsensical quarrels and unite for the fall. Florida will be seated, somehow. And it will be fairly done. Everyone won't be completely happy, but that's what compromise is all about.

    It's like the Democrats are hunters, wounding their prey, and before it's dead they start fighting over who will get the biggest piece of meat. Meanwhile the prey slinks off, gets its friends, and blow up the hunters with an atom bomb.

    yeah... it's just like that......

    End this madness! Democrats 08!

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Alex /Lakeland, Florida

    This is crazy, I hope the people of Florida will unite behind whatever candidate has their best interest. WE CAN NOT AFFORD ANOTHER 4or 8 YEARS OF THE SAME! It is time for this country to show the world we have common sense

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. john




    OBAMA 08.

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Steve from Florida

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

    Been saying this for awhile, we have no 'right' to vote in the primaries because they are governed by the individual parties. Comparing votes in the general election to votes in the party-run primaries is not nearly the same thing.

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Jim Russell

    Like I've said: "the Clinton's will burn the village if necessary to get what they want."

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Proud1of 26% in WV

    Not looking good Clintonites.I hope that the DNC sticks to their guns on 5/31..It will be interesting to see what She and Bill come up with now.

    May 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. proud army and navy mom

    You are litigating the wrong people florida!
    it's your local republicans politicans that you should go after,
    not the DNC. rules are in place for a reason.

    This case is like a child accepting a toy from their parents, takes it to school and a bully takes it away. the child gets punished for breaking the rules by taking it school. Then child demands another toy from his parents and proceeds to whine and piss about it because he no longer has the privilege to play with it.

    get over it, you will be lucky to get 50% seated, and that's being generous!

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Watching every move

    Woo hoo! One for justice. You break the rules, you suffer the consequences. Plain and simple! Yey Howard and Judge Lazarra!!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Max

    Bravo! Florida and Michigan do not deserve to be seated! Period! Please do not insult us, the voters from other 48 states by allowing Fl and Mich delegates seated on the convention ! No 50%, not 1% !They will vote for McBush ANYWAY in November.. Forget about them. But do not insult the rest of us who folowed the rules! We will vote for Obama!!
    Obama is our next president !

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Amy from Michigan

    Good for Judge Lazarra. The only people we in the the states of Florida and Michigan have to be mad at are our elected officials who broke the rules, thus throwing our votes away. Granholm will know how unhappy I am when I cast my vote against her in the next governor's race. Until then there is nothing we can do about it. Counting the primary votes as is would not fair to either candidate. I believe Hillary would have lost Michigan

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Justice

    Dear Hillary
    Please stop this now !!!. Somebody please speak to her. A divided house cannot stand. Even if you win the nominations, you will lose the respect and votes of many millions of us. Stop tearing down Obama. The republicans can use your words to campaign against him. He is not tearing you down. Please stop if you love the party. The republicans will definitely win if you are the nominee. They have so much dirt on you. I want to still love you Hillary but I am finding it very difficult.

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. d

    Good! The party's of both Florida and Michigan BROKE THE RULES, and knew what the consequences would be. As a resident of Florida, I hold my state government responsible for this debacle, NOT the candidates. I am taking names, and if I can in any way vote those responsible out of office, I will!
    On a side note, Hillary why did you not care about our vote until you really needed it? Answer the question!

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Florida and Michigan

    Well if Hillary wants to count Florida and Michigan and split the delegates (which she wont') since Obama only needs 46 more that would seal it up for him....Let's take the half and win now....

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. ginger

    I think what Sen. Clinton has been doing is wrong. If you agreed (she did) not to campaigned in FL and MI why is she now shouting from the mountain top, the votes count. Any know why Sen. Clinton didn't remover her name from MI ballot like Sen. Obama did?

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Irish

    With Hillary once again proving to the world that it's all about Hillary, not the people or her own Party, it is gratifying to see the Courts uphold the DNC's right to mandate and police their own system. Roland Martin has it quite right this time. It is sad that she has become such a caricature of herself.

    May 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Mike

    Roland , when will the Superdelagates step up and finally end this thing ?.In my opinion the Democratic party and it's Superdelagates are digging their own graves for November.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Les, Long Beach, CA

    When are the supers and the rest of the party going to figure out that the Clintons do not give a darn about the party and are only out for their own interests?

    You'd think (at least) Congressional supers would have jumped ship by now. Bill did NOT have a good history of having any election 'coattails' that bumped up Democratic seats in the House or Senate races, and Hillary will likely prove to be the same.

    I used to really like Bill, et al, but now that I'm on the 'other side,' I can see why all of their Republican adversaries built up such a hatred for them. They say anything, dissemble and do anything to win. Everything else - effective governance, building real & lasting coalitions - doesn't matter.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |

    Mrs. Clinton must not forget that the american people always have the last word. They will be hiring again in her Senate's re-eletion.


    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Jack Mpls

    Obama's name wasn't on the MI ballot because he pulled his name from it. That was his choice and his decision no one put a gun to his head and told him not to he would not lose anything by removing his name from the ballot and that is not a valid excuse. So just give Obama the nomination so he can lose the general election and I can say I told you so.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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