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. LaLa in KCMO

    Roland Martin,

    Here, here! Well said, well encapsulated, unbiased (yes, Clintonites, unbiased).


    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. MARK

    It's a sad day when what should have been a great climax to the Democratic race ends with Sen Clinton staying with her devisive, it's-me-over-the-party attitude.

    She had been a very good possibility, but most peope with a clear head should now see her in a better light. I really don't want to "pile on", but she has said so many off-base remarks the last 2 months. I am sad for her, but hope she can regain some pride and support the right person to lead us to visctory in Nov.

    We DO need her and her supporters to undersatand there is a larger, more important battle to start focusing upon time.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Veteran in Kansas

    Once again the voters of Florida shall, NOT be heard.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Cal

    Did we expect anything different? Those states broke the rules and therefore should be punished.
    If the people are mad take it out on your officials who moved the date up, get them removed from office. They should be the ones being lynched if anyone is.
    Atleast this may take the wind out of hilary clintons sails and make her realize her defeat.
    Who in there right mind could have expected the results to be counted as they where?
    Hilary clinton didnt care about those states in the beggining, only once her whole presidential run counted on them was she ever concerned. If anything it shows that hilary clinton is unable to stay true to her commitments.
    Maybe her drones will finally realize its over. Actually on second thought she will probably have to tell them since they dont seem to be able to act on there own accord.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. jim

    I don't want to read this again and again. Obama is twice as clever as Clinton even at this younger age, you don't have to tell him what to do. In a race anyone will try as hard to do what they can. Even you would do the same Roland Martin in this political race. It is not that simple to sit and make some comments to stir up things!

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Belle

    Roland...why don't you just shut up!

    The Clinton CAMPAIGN volunteered to PAY for a REVOTE which YOUR Candidate Blocked!

    So the REAL truth is Obama is the one Discounting FL and MI.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. 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 they stand now would not be fair to either candidate.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Obama v McCain

    This race initially inspired me and motivated me to become more activen and educated about politics. Now i am just sick of it. and I'm sick of the examples this woman is showing our children, particularly our daughters. Lie, cheat, spin. My daughter says to me. Mom..she's not going to Presdient is she.. I told her it wasnt likely..she prompty replied" Thats ok. I will." People act as if THIS shot alone for her is the shot to end all shots for women. not so. BUT.. her shot has made it possible for my daughter to have HOPE that her shot will come. Having said all that, i am hoping that she doesnt leave this race leaving lies. cheating. spinning as her legacy. just leave. And leave with the grace and dignity i am sure you do posess. Thank you for my daughter's hope.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Kyle

    Why doesn't the DNC, if they do not want Flordia or Michigan seated, play the sound clips or transcripts from Hilary back in late December/early Janurary saying that the delegates should not be counted because they broke the rules. Of course that was when everyone said that she had the election in the bag.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. JOE-VA

    Democratic Floridians along with Clinton are playing elitist games with the DNC and they continue to lose. For all we know, they may seek UN sanctions before it is all over.

    May 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. A.K.

    LOL – Later for you, Florida! The DNC should countersue these jokers for costs and attorneys fees for this baseless lawsuit. Plus, the DNC needs the money!

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Concerned

    Hillary completely opposed recognizing Michigan and Florida until after the primaries-i.e., when she realized she might need their delegates to win the nomination.

    "It's clear that this election they're having in Mi & Fl is not going to count for anything," Hillary stated during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio in October 2007.

    Two months earlier, Clinton adviser Harold Ickes actually voted to strip the rogue states of their delegates.

    Terry McAuliffe said in his memoir "The closes [MI's delegates will] get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for on state. The rules are the rules."

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Kim

    I think Hillary is over the top and you can't win with her. She is using gorilla warfair, constantly changing the rules.

    No one has the nerve to shut this down and the "Super" delagates take the cake afraid to commit to Obama incase she cheats and somehow pulls this off hence they will be out of favor with the Clintons.

    I say Impeach any SUPER who goes along with beaking the agreement that was earler recognised by the DNC. IF The DNC wants to bail then hold NEW ELECTIONS FAST

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Northern Michigan

    If she can change the rules after agreeing to something different in the beginning, then tell me how I can do the same thing at work? I agreed to a 40 hour week but I'd rather re-negotiate to flex time with sam pay. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, my son, a first tiem voter is wondering why he has to follow the rules if a Presidential candidate doesn't have to.... I'd like to know how I explain that one to him....

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Lawrence - Virginia Beach, VA

    Just as it should have been thrown out.

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Eric Robinson

    I reside in the state of Florida. I did not vote because I knew our votes wouldn't count. I would have voted for Obama. There were many in the state of Florida that did not vote knowing that the votes wouldn't count. How could Mrs. Clinton want the votes to count when my voice any many more would never be heard. REVOTE OR THROW IT OUT

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. a voter in New York

    They knew the rules and knew that they would not be seated if they didn't follow the rules. Clinton signed her name to back that rule with the DNC.

    Now on May 31 she wants to challenge the very rules she pledged to uphold.

    It shows her credibility and her will to do whatever it takes to win no matter if it is fair or not.

    If Florida and Michigan are seated then the whole DNC is a hoax on every voter in America. Any state can vote at any time that they want and sway elections in any fashion that they deem necessary.

    What if New York violated the rules and decided on giving Edwards the first vote, he would still be in there and had a sweep for the bid.
    It turns out to be a money issue if this is allowed. Any political aspirant can finance and bankroll a State to vote first for them and sweep the nomination. The rules are the rules. they agreed to them and now should be held to them.

    I am no fan of Obama, but am a fan of the process. Obama should stand his ground and honor his word. No seating for for those who violated party rules.

    May 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Major Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    Florida and Michgan broke the deal; now they must face the wheel. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Hillary can't win, if even if she could win. Obama doesn't need to cut a deal........he will be the presumptive nominee........and if she so electable and the strongest candidate, how come she could not win the primaries? What part of "defeat" doesn't Hillary understand.

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Steve (Independent)

    Let's see... When I sign an agreement it is binding, whether I find the end results satisfactory or not.

    Frankly, while I am highly supportive of seeing the first woman elected as President of this great country, I am not at all supportive of Sen. Clinton to be that woman.

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. sara

    Thank God this court had the good sense not to allow such an injustice to occur. I just don't see how surrogates such as Harold Ickes, who voted to penalize these states can wrap his head around the thought that now they should count , as is????? Hopefully after the credentials commitee meets this weekend there can start to be some resolution, however, I anticipate, like Roland Martin they will take this to the convention.

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Marge Hibbing Mn

    The just made sure McCAin is going to win....they have tried and tried and tired to cram obama down the throat of the real Democrts and they can't do they are trying to get him appointed.

    Every single day after McCAin wins the GE I am going to send emails, letters and call the butts who pretend to be democrats in congress and ask them why they wanted someone without an ounce of sense to be president. Is it because they thought he would be manipulated more so than the republicans did bush...

    Or maybe they wanted to sign him up to become an American Idol candidate they zonked out kids would sure vote for him then.

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Jeremy

    I'm all for seating a portion of their delegation but you can't seat them at full strength. Doing so sets a precedent for states to break the rules in the future and always refer back to this situation in saying "Well you didn't punish them, why should we be punished for breaking the rules?" And the states knew the ramifications of their actions before they moved their primaries up. So why are they now crying foul?

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. king from toronto

    can't wait till june 4th!! soon ! very soon!! no more clintons!!

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Barbara Texas

    It's so funny how now Billary and her team of sore loosers are trying everything possible to to take the nomination away from Obama....Get a grip ladies and gentlemen. It's time for change. Billary, it's over!!!! And another thing, what makes Billary think that she is going to win the votes if she steal the nomination away from Obama!!!! SORE LOOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Crazy Broad

    The crazier this broad Clinton gets, the nuttier her supporters get too. Whatever insane leaps of 'logic' she makes, her supporters are right there, pretending like it makes sense.

    I used to wonder how anyone could support such a hypocritical, deceptive, delusional nut-job, but it's become clear through this nomination process – her supporters are just as nutty as she is.

    May 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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