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. Pat-Iowa

    You can bet the farm that if Obama was behind, these delegates would be seated.

    More crooked moves to control the outcome of the elections.


    They just lost my whole family of lifelong democrats.

    If you want real progress in this country, join us and vote for McCain!!

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. kelley


    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Kathy

    The Clinton campaign doesn't have to rachet up any talk about how sexist this campaign has been. We are the Women and there are millions of us--and we already noticed. In November, we will let Barack Obama notice as well.

    We will not accept a sexist pig as a Presidential candidate. We are just one of many voting blocks that have a problem with this jerk, and you and Barack McGovern will all find that out in November.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. jeremy

    one more nail in HRC's campaign coffin. how many does it take, before she just lets go?

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. bill from pa

    These are the same people that burned their bras in the 70's for the ERA. For god's sake I hope they keep them on this time around.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Christi-CA

    Morally and politically bankrupt. How sad that the Clinton legacy will forever be a huge scar on the democrats. I used to really love the Clinton family boy how things can change in a few months. Please Hill bow out on June 4th. Do you care about our nation? You lost, I voted for you in the primary but I would never vote for you now.

    May 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    Good thing they threw the case out. Rules are rules. Everyone knows that including the Clintons with all their evil speeches and actions, plus their supporters. They are only playing politics which will not help them. It's over, whether MI and FL is counted or not. This Dem Primary is over.

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. "The Great Elephant Is Wounded"-Kareem From Hampton, Va

    The judge must be an Obama Supporter! LOL LOL This is just as unsurprising as the McClellan report! So...hmm what is Hillary gonna do now! Maybe JUST maybe she will count the votes from the Jedi Counsel!! Cause at this point as a Senator the only thing she can do to help her chances now is to marry a Dark Lord of the Sith!! That might help her...

    Yeah I know its ridiculous but so was this lawsuit!

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Hazel

    How much longer is it going to take for Hillary to finally comprehend that she cannot and will not win. I know that this will be her biggest political blow as she and Bill must have already called in their interior design team from early last year to make minor changes to the White House, but this is one house where the door remains tightly closed. Suck it up Hillary and concede for the Democratic parties sake.

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    It certainly isn't fair that Hillary Clinton campaigned in Florida, and won! She isn't about to win this election anyway!

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Spectacles

    Realclear politics has Obama up 9 and 5 points over McCain in Ohio and PA.
    In fact he leads McCain in many states.
    She is wrong, her speech is wrong and I hope Obama addresses this in Montanta because she will lose to McCain. Honesty will beat McCain.

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Tiffany

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

    This is correct. And its lifelong, activist members like me have the right to be angry at a party who disenfranchises voters for mistakes made by the PARTY POLITICIANS, who takes them for granted and who puts the desires of first-time voters above party loyalists – and we have the right to re-register as an Independents and to vote our conscience in the Fall by writing in our choice for President.

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

    The DNCs decision to not seat Florida delegates is incomparable to what African Americans suffered through in the early to mid 20th century. Choosing to ignore party rules for your own desires, whatever they may be is in every way dissimilar to being born of a race that was disenfranchised for simply being the "wrong" color. It is utterly offensive and intellectually dishonest for anyone to attmept to draw comparisons. i dont think there is a person of color or a person of any intelligence who can claim to see a connection between the two.

    May 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. bakari usseni


    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Bill in Rochester

    Hillary was ranting several years ago about a cover-up when Bill was running for President. Now it appears that Bill is returning the favor. I wonder if it will play as well. We have great access to the polls thruogh the internet and can see her mis-speaks. Hillary seems to have a hard time controlling Bill during these primary races. Will she have any control over him if she becomes President? She claims to have the majority of popular vote by including Florida and Michigan but what type of fuzzy math does she use to calculate the popular vote from the 13 caucus states? If Obama becomes the nominee, then the only way he will lose is because the pseudo democrats who support Hillary sold him and the democratic party down the river. That also applies to the reverse scenario.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. bill in nyc

    thank you's nice to hear a voice of reason for once...

    all you clinton supporters should get real, and listen to roland...your arguments have consistently lacked honesty, integrity, and any sense of reason (they don't count when you're ahead, but they count when you're behind?!)...instead of moving backward b/c you didn't get it your way, let's rally behind obama and move this country forward...

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Pete

    Let's look at HRC as she really is: A self-serving politician that cares about herself and no one else. This shows why she should not be the next president. We already had 8 years of that kind of disgrace. We need change!

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. bob in L.A.

    DNC- Floridians did their job and came out and voted. Do yours- count them!

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Rebecca

    Hillary has not competed with anyone for the last 3 weeks. Why do you think her poll numbers are up? McCain and Obama have been at each others throats while Hillary is out there playing victim and not being attacked by anyone. Of course her poll numbers will appear good, but the fact is that they are not realistic because she isn't having to fight with anyone except herself.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. tailei

    Good! I can't believe the audacity that you break the rules which was clearly know from the beginning, then complain when the ramifications aren't to your liking.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. marika from texas

    We all have to follow rules and all the laws, so that is for Florida and Michigan also. Thank You.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. boered1

    Why is THIS not the headline on the Ticker? This am you had a negative story about Obama carried over from yesterday and it was only replaced by another one that is negative about Obama BOTH STORIES WERE ARE CLOSED FOR COMMENTS.

    Guess the Clinton News Network is still ahrd at work, but tout Hillaryall you want she has LOST and Barack will be the next POTUS,

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. GINA, OHIO


    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. mommagirl

    If neither candidate campaigned in Florida and they were both on the ballot, what's the big deal about seating the delegates. They both received votes. Seems to me like they were on an even playing field. So Obama's huge opposition to it would be what... ????

    Somewhere along the way, somebody ought to get someone with half a brain to redesign the democratic voting process. It's ridiculous that every state is different, it ridiculous that there are caucus states where not everyone gets the same opportunity to vote on a secret ballot.

    Democratic old guard should be a little more discreet if they're going to support the black baby boy from Kansas-I mean the bi-racial boy. There's not much history in saying it that way, is there? Democrats and blacks would lose their big historical moment.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Helen

    I was initially Clinton supporter. It is clear to me now that Hillary Clinton does not intend to live by the rules that she agreed to – that is the key point here – she agreed to the rules...until things started to go in a direction she did not expect. What would compel anyone to vote for someone who clearly has no regard for rules, honesty, and straight talk. and want to invoke some "new math" rules in order to get her way. She and her husband like to twist words, facts, and numbers to their advantage. If Obama were doing the same – he would have been lambasted by all of the pundits and cable news programs. Grow up Hillary. You didn't think Obama stood a chance so you didn't put your full effort into the fight at the beginning. Now when you realize your mistake you want to change the rules of the game. Well guess what? The "game" is almost up for you.

    May 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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