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. skylark

    I have an idea. All candidates should have to have a psychiatric exam as part of the vetting process. That way we are sure to get the sanest candidate.

    Uh, that would be Obama.

    May 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Elmer Cason

    They knew the rules going in, they signed the pledged, and the both states purposely broke the rules. None of them should count period! And their comparing of this to slavery and civil rights is BS! This nothing to do with either of them!

    No disrespect to the people of MI and FL, but some of you KNEW what was going to happen and the consequences of those actions but did NOTHING to stop it. You were so caught up in being first or close to first, etc. attempt to one up IA and NH. Now some of you want to cry about being "disenfranchised" because your vote "doesn't" count. Spare me! See, that's the main problem with people in this country sense of responsibility for actions taken, coupled with the belief that you're entitled to do what you want without suffering any repercussions.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    Good, they should have thrown it out. They should have followed the rules.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Brian

    Good. Florida broke pary rules. They cannot and should not be seated. Very plain, very simple.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Monica, Kingsland

    Will this drama ever end. When will someone stand up and demand Senator Clinton load up the truck and go home. No one is gonna change rules and regulations for her or no one else. A lady she never be asked to leave; she should know when to exit.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. LA

    Clinton's path to the nomination is about as clear as mud and about as palatable. But never mind that–she IS a Clinton and just what is the definition of IS?

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Kim

    Thank God that the Judge in this case has morals and values however will we find the same in the supreme court?

    Who did Bill place on the supreme court?

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Richard, FL

    Roland Martin is telling it like it is. Hillary agreed that Michigan and Florida would not count and then she completely contradicted herself and claimed victories.

    Hillary now claims that she won Michigan:
    Clinton 328,309
    Obama 0
    Edwards 0

    If true, this was the greatest election victory in the history of the free world! Why isn't she proclaiming the enormity of the victory? Why aren't her supporters screaming incessantly about this absolutely monumental victory? The answer is simple: no matter how rabid a person may be, there is always deep down inside an acknowledgment of honesty and truth.

    As a Florida voter, I have lost my say in the primary elections. This was due to a combination of a Republican state administration that set the election date and Democratic leaders like Bill Nelson who did not choose to make a big issue to prevent it. In spite of that, I feel that it was necessary to try to bring a halt to the endless extension of presidential campaigns and the insane amount of money being spent. This year's mess will serve as a lesson for the future for Democrats. Republicans have yet to see the writing on the wall.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Barack the Vote in RI

    Well said Roland.....well said. Let's hope the superdelegates take note of this and end this nonsense so we can all finally rally behind Obama to get ready for the fight in November.

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


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


    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Dave


    You may have a point, but as a moderate democrat, your diction denotes and connotes bitterness that will not help bring democrats together. Either candidate is a tough sell in Texas, but there are a greater number of moderates down here than you make think, and if we keep hearing "negative" feelings through rhetoric, with some valid points, the ship will sink in November...and I don't want to be on board if McCain is the captain of the ship.

    May 28, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. oil rules

    The irony is too sweet. The dems, still crying over the 'theft' of Al's Presidency, disenfranchise all their voters in Florida. The hypocrisy is utterly fantastic. Wake up and see which party will count you and which won't. McCain is practically a liberal anyway, so your vote for him is almost like voting for Hillary or Nobama. The liberals are just so fair and caring, aren't they???

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Rebecca

    A great point was made yesterday. Obama has not been going after Hillary, or even trying to compete with her for the last 3 weeks. Therefore her poll numbers are rising and is not a true reflection of the real picture. If Obama were still going after Hillary like she continues to go after Obama the poll numbers would be much more realistic. But Obama quit fighting Hillary over 3 weeks ago and is even complimenting her. He is trying to give Hillary some dignity and respect which is showing up in the latest polls. All this and Hillary is taking those exact polls and exploiting them against Obama, the one who has helped her raise her poll numbers. How much sense does that make!

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Hardy Takhar

    I am a bit disappointed in the Obama Camp for not countering the Hillary rampage about disenfranchising Florida and Michigan. It is clear to all the both Clinton ,Obama and the DNC agreed to penalising these States. Now simply because the numbers are not in her favor and has taken a grasping at straws approach in distancing herself from the decisions both she and her camp agreed with. She has attempted to put the blame squarely on Obama. Clintons interests are clearly not in the interest of DNC or the peoples of Florida or Michigan or any other State for that matter but are driven by personal greed for power at any cost . She will step on anybodys neck to get to the next rung on the ladder to the Whitehouse. I am disgusted with he family.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Cindi South Carolina

    I think the Florda and Michigan voters should be looking at their party chairs for signing their rights to an early election when Gov Granhom and Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida was component enough to sign this law. How you ask others to forgive you for a dumb mistake that your party leader done. Also Hillary should be ashame of herself. How can you be a President or Vice President stirring up all this mess. You will be a messy Presiden and will not lead the people to victory.

    People you need to look at the Clinton's, there is something wrong with the campaign. Bill is out in left field and as they say stupid does as stupid do.

    On big point is that I don't like all this racial stuff comparing slavery, Jim Crow and etc with this election campaign. If I didn't know any better I would say Hillary is trying to get the white voters to not vote for Obama a black man in Noverment. Call it like you see it the Clinton's have become racist..

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Tim - WA

    You know, I'm seriously getting sick and tired of people calling voters Obamamaniacs or Obamites or Clinonites or any of the million different titles we voters get. In the day and age we are in, why is it so difficult to choose a candidate? I support Obama, but I don't have any harsh feelings towards Hillary Clinton supporters or McCain supporters. Everyone has the right to choose who they want as president, thats one of the cornerstones of our country. I see on this website so much hate spewed on all sides and it honestly makes me sick.

    My honest opinion, count them. All of them. Clinton may have flip flopped on what she wanted done in those states, but you know what. Freedom of choice is something that comes to mind. Ever made on decision, seen things in a different light, perhaps that would go your way, and changed your mind? I bet you have, and if you say you haven't, well you better ask for forgiveness from that lie. Everyone calls out that Clinton is only doing so so that she can steal the nomination. She wants to be President for crying out loud, and is doing everything she can to do it. Her efforts in my opinion are futile, but to do otherwise would show her supporters that she just doesn't care or that she has given up.

    Would Clinton make a good president? I can't say for certain, but I know she'd be a whole lot better than Bush has been and McCain for that matter.

    Obama '08

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Jim from CA

    I agree completely with Roland Martin. And why is there no uproar on behalf of those people who stayed at home that day, expecting the election to not count? Is not counting the votes of those that cluelessly went (or maybe they were savvy enough to know the votes might be counted after all), does this not disenfranchise the voters who stayed home in far worse a fashion? How is counting an election where the results do not represent the will of the people, but only an uneven segment of it, democracy?

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. BOB Orlando

    Look, the media sells the rule and you play the role. In a real democratic society all votes are counted no matter what. Millions of people are going to be divided because the rich far left wing are pushing for an overnight makeshift president. I see the trains going off the tracks and soon if you know what I mean . We should be call if not Hillary GOP then we write it in on the ballot of vote Mc Cain.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Brett

    The Democratic Party just lost my vote in November. A least the Republicans care about their voters.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    I agree with Roland. Thank god for smart people.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Lynnette

    We cannot have this woman as president. She is a total disgrace.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. jsandr

    I do not believe anyone should force Hillary to leave. I do see where everyone is handling her with kid gloves now. I believe they are doing this to keep the party together, however what people really need to realize and see is that Clinton is not in this for woman, white voters , or America. She is behaving very foolishly and destroying the party from the inside out. I do believe that the Clintons and the Bushes had a plan of years of domination in place. Remember how Bill Clinton sat in office after his time was up, while they sorted out the whole vote mess in FL. Who was he running around the country with after he left office. The Bush father and son. Hillary was supposed to be a sure win, however they did not count on Obama. So to keep the same system in place the only alternative they have is to divide and concor. Hillary is most certinly doing this. Man against woman, black against white, and Old against young. I do believe that many of the super delegates are in on this as well. Why else would they allow the party to be split like this.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Mighty

    We can talk all we can but what people are failing to see is that, all along it's been about them, the Clintons. They are still in denial about losing to someone they thought wouldn't make it past super tuesday. And Bill scares me now, I used to have respect for him.

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

    MArtin, forget YOU as any kind of credible "commentator." You are clearly so biased that there is nothing in your tirade that is likely to get you taken seriously – by your supporters or those who find your motivations and prattle to be rather questionable. Quit trying to end the process before it's over, keep your myopic opinions to yourself and let the primary go on unmolested by so-called "media" types who would like to abort it just because your chosen deity has not landed the nomination as quickly as the GOP's. The only reason the GOP process ended so quickly is they had a broad field of unbelievably unqualified and uninspiring candidates. The Dems have two very strong contenders. In fact at one time they had about five very strong contenders. Let those who remain continue to contend until a final decision is made.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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