Skip to comments.Judge Rules DNC, Florida Clash Is 'Intra-Party Dispute' (infighting moves to Atlanta)
Posted on 10/06/2007 10:42:11 PM PDT by Libloather
Judge Rules DNC, Florida Clash Is 'Intra-Party Dispute'
By BILLY HOUSE and WILLIAM MARCH The Tampa Tribune
Published: Oct 6, 2007
TAMPA - The first legal challenge to the Democratic National Committee's refusal to seat Florida's delegates to the party's national convention next year was thrown out of federal court Friday.
Calling the matter "an intra-party dispute," U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara concluded the arguments made by Tampa-based Democratic voter and political consultant Victor DiMaio contained no legal basis for challenging the national party.
Lazzara wrote, "The Supreme Court has consistently recognized that national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate-selection rules and the decision as to which state delegates it will recognize ."
This is a case in which "the party's national convention, and not a court, is the proper forum for determining this intra-party dispute with regard to the seating of the State of Florida's delegates," Lazzara wrote.
The lawsuit was not connected with one filed Thursday by Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Alcee Hastings of Miramar, although some of the legal arguments were the same.
Lazzara, in a footnote within his 13-page decision, said he is aware of the Nelson-Hastings lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee. He emphasized that his decision was framed entirely by the arguments in DiMaio's lawsuit.
In response, DiMaio said he and his lawyer are working on an appeal, which they plan to file with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
"I am obviously disappointed for the millions of Democratic voters here in Florida," DiMaio said. "But this is only the first inning and first bite of the apple ."
A statement released by the DNC said, "We are certainly pleased by the federal District Court ruling today that strongly reaffirms the right of the national parties to enforce their own rules for selection of delegates to their national conventions."
Kendall Coffey of Miami, the lawyer in the suit filed Nelson and Hastings that also seeks to overturn the sanctions, couldn't be reached Friday.
Coffey, however, said Thursday in announcing the Nelson-Hastings lawsuit that it differed from the DiMaio legal action.
"My assumption is that our case will be heard on its merits in Tallahassee, and if there were a ruling issued in the Tampa case, the Tallahassee judge may or may not find it relevant," Coffey said at that time.
DiMaio's lawsuit named both the national and state Democratic parties as defendants, noting that the national party imposed the sanctions after the state party said it would choose its national convention delegates based on the state's Jan. 29 presidential primary, which the national party objects to.
The DiMaio lawsuit asked the judge to declare whether the national party's action was legal, then either order the sanctions lifted or order the state party to choose delegates some other way.
Coffey said the DiMaio lawsuit "isn't taking a definitive position on the constitutional questions Our view is that there is a definitive constitutional issue and the rights of Florida voters are being violated on a massive scale."
One of those issues raised in the Nelson-Hastings lawsuit is that the DNC's action could have discriminatory impact on African-American voters. In his decision Friday in the DiMaio action, however, Lazzara indicated that such a legal argument, in his view, would not hold up either.
Shattering into tiny little pieces...
How stupid can the dems be? Seriously, that’s a question....
Too funny! I guess the dems care not a wit in “reaching out to all those latino votes” in Fla or all of those “poor and elderly people” they made such a big deal out of in counting their hanging chads.
Pretty damned stupid, judging by their hell-bent determination to alienate their Florida constituency.
not stupid at all ... what are they going to do, vote Republican? Hillary has no effective opposition so why does she need to spend time and money on Florida? If you take the delegates out of play, they are effectively hers .. open it up to voting and she stands to lose a few plus she is forced to campaign and go on the record on issues important to the looney base. She can't afford to do that in a showcase state that has that many electoral votes.
No, she wants the coronation to be over with so she and her MSM buddies can paint the republican nominee as atilla the hun and George III to win back whatever voters she "lost" during the non primary.