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. Geraldine Coleman

    All of the people in Michigan and Florida who did not vote should protest also. They were told that the votes would not count so therefore, they did not vote. They have just as much right to complain as those who supposedly voted. Hillary is causing all of this uproar and I have personally lost respect for her and Bill. They are pathetic spreading lies and rumors and dividing the democratic party. I hope that the people of New York wil not re-elect her as a Senator. She has really shown a devious and divisive attitude during this campaign. I believe the court case of Peter Paul Vs. Clinton. Everyone should look at it on you tube and read about her deception in this case. She is pathetic.

    May 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Bitter Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    I'd bet just about anything the U.S. Supreme Court will say the same thing.

    May 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Emmanuel

    I support Barack Obama. I beleive that after Hillary Clinton signed a document where she agreed that Michigan and Florida votes not count, she should not put the democratic party through this mess. But I beleive that Obama can accomodate his fellow democratic rival and treat her with dignity, honour and respect.

    I beleive that Obama should reach an understanding (not a compromise) and agree that delegates from Michigan and Florida carry half a delegate vote. In Florida, the results should be as is but in Michigan the split must be 50/50 including the popular votes totals. Barack Obama's name was not on the ballot in Michigan. This is a fair and reasonable understanding. This understanding will not change the outcome of the nomination process which Barack has won with superior management strategies, profound and relevant message with oratory.

    May 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. james from brooklyn

    AND TO all my hillary supporters, that judge is not a superdelegate. justice is serve.
    the DNC better not change the rule. HOWARD DEAN, we need you to tell those ppl like you did during you presidential campaign.........yaaaaaaaaaaa

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Darrell

    The Clinton campaign is also cheating tens of thousands of voters who stayed home on election day because their vote didn't count, so they were told.

    Michigan and Florida will be seated, but not according to Hillary's math, which keeps getting scarier by the hour.

    Michigan and Florida voters, if you don't like the results given in the outcome of this, you need to go and vote every single person in your respective states out of office during the next election. They are the ones who did this to you, no one else.

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Nobama

    Obama would be fighting for Michigan and Florida tooth and nail if the roles were reversed. In fact, it would be viewed as a HUGE civil rights issue. With Florida, the Republican governing state officials made the decision to move up the primary date. The Democrats had no say in this decision. Michigan is another story, but the Obama camp dragged their feet in agreeing to a revote (which would have been privately funded) and ran out the clock.

    Obama is just another politician and the "magic" will quickly fade when nothing is accomplished ... just like my hopes when Pelosi became Speaker of the House.

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Patricia

    Thanks for the cut-n-paste. It does clarify the process.

    Clinton claims she is the more electable. Polls show she scores higher against McCain than Obama does. But, that is not the point. He scores higher than McCain as well meaning they are both electable. The fact that she uses the word "more" electable, rather than "most" electable says that she recognizes also that he is electable and could win in the fall.

    People still have a choice- for about 6 more days!

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Sharon R.

    I am so glad the courts through the lawsuit out. Rules are rules. Hillary and Barack agreed to the rules. Now, Ms Big Mouth Hillary is telling people Obama cannot win against John McCain.

    The superdelegates need to shut her down! She is making the democratic party look so terrible. They, the superdelegates must be very wimpy. If Obama was acting like her and Slick Willie he would be shut down and thrown out of the race long ago. Stop the double standards, and shut this woman down. I have lost all respect for both her and Bill. They don't care about their party just themselves.

    I am so sick of the both of them. I am sure many other people are too.!

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Hayward

    Ok no biggie. Hakuna matada. No worries what so ever. Because if that is the final decision it will not be the final say so. The people will get that and the joke will be on the DNC and the democratic party. Because if those votes are not counted and those delegates are not seated then Barack will lose royally because the voters will strike back with a vengeance!! And that my friend you can take to the bank...

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Mike

    Good News
    Btw i like turtles

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Terry

    Wow the court system got one right for once. I still say the best option for Hillary is to start her own party so she doesn't have to worry about rules. Maybe the Clintocratic party. She could make, break and ignor the rules as she pleases then! Apparently she wants rules for others but not for her?

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Rich

    Hiilary 08 !!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. fred2..since another stole my name

    Howard Dean is an Idiot and the DNC will lose BIG time in November.
    He has pushed that idiot Obama and Obama is a loser just like Dean!!

    Go Hillary...take it all the way to the Convention or run Independent...either way Obama loses!!!

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. is it necessary

    they did what? if they are seated will they go back to their earlier voting dates or will they keep the new dates?

    May 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Alexis

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

    What part of this does everyone else not understand? You don't get to break the rules, then whine about it. Pathetic.

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

    Well this female is still voting for Obama.

    Its time to bow out Hillary.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Casey

    I encourage all those who will either write in Hillary or Vote for John McBush in the general to go ahead, why bother telling us how bitter you are. You will only be happy if the other candidate is cheated out of what he worked hard for and competed to achieve without complaining about anything even when he had so many disadvantages from the on set. So, whatever you like, write in Hillary, Vote MaCian, stay hom. The truth is that , Obama is the DNC Nominee. He earned it and the world sees that but for only those who believe in half truth and playing to the gallary . Obama beat the front funner of the DNC, along with Her Husband. That in itself is a strong acheievement and and He will beat the that clone of BUSH come Nov.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Franck, WPG, Canada

    Hey Martin,

    This goes to confirm what Obama likes to say. People who will do and say anything to get a vote. The Clintons are definately desperate and the sooner they accept the reality the better for ecerybody.

    And now they want to play the "victim" card!! What sexism are they talking about by the way? And when did that start?? Gees!

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Batman

    Will this split the party?
    Ask HRC.
    It seems to be her goal that if shes not going to will niether will BO. Many of the uneducated HRC supporters have been brainwashed to vote for George Bush for the third time.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Grog in Ohio

    What part of "you violated the rules" does Florida (or Michigan) not get? This is really quite simple. Kindergarteners could tell you that you get penalized when you violate the rules. End of discussion.

    237 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Jonathan Sabella

    Apparently Roland Martin comments on articles by copy pasting his articles.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. L.A. Atlanta, GA

    What is it that people can't understand about PLAYING BY THE RULES? You wanna talk about fair DiMaio? How about all the voters and the delegates that obeyed the rules with no problem. Clinton supporters want to talk about people being fair to her and treating her with respect and what not. How about the people that respected the rules, respected the game and did what they were supposed to do WHEN they were supposed to do it. Florida and Michigan, this is what happens when you think you can do whatever you want. Sure, political parties in each state probably should have the right to schedule their own primaries, but the fact of the matter is they don't. It's done for you. Deal with it or suffer the consequences.

    In all honesty, this was probably Hillary Clinton's plan all along. Sign off saying they shouldn't be included and then turn around and fight for the states to be included to get more support.

    I don't want someone like that running my country. It's wrong and you know it, Clinton. Stop trying to be sneaky.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Banko

    Take that Hillary. She is always changing the rules in the middle of the game. Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. The inevitable candidate has become the inevitable loser.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Villary

    I think its high time we democrats decides what we want and stop this games. OBAMA 08

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Allyn J. Chevalier - Lynnwood, WA

    How about this. Florida: Hillary gets her 50%, and Obama gets his 33% PLUS the %'s, delegates, and vote count of all other former candidates who have since moved over to Obama (i.e. ). Same thing in Michigan. That way, we don't have to hear about the poor voters in both states, the delegate vote doesn't really changed, and Hillary can't continue to make the STUPID argument about the VOTES.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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