On April 28, 2017 a transcript was released from the hearing at a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on the lawsuit filed on behalf of Bernie Sanders supporters against the Democratic National Committee and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for rigging the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton.
In full admission to these charges, attorneys for the Democratic Party testified in court that they had a right to essentially rig the election and determine the outcome as they pleased, and that the appearance of a democratic process was, you know, essentially “discretionary”.
Shortly into the hearing, DNC attorneys claim Article V, Section 4 of the DNC Charter –stipulating that the DNC chair and their staff must ensure neutrality in the Democratic presidential primaries — is “a discretionary rule that it didn’t need to adopt to begin with.” Based on this assumption, DNC attorneys assert that the court cannot interpret, claim, or rule on anything associated with whether the DNC remains neutral in their presidential primaries.
I pulled some of the information from that hearing and took the liberty of bolding the best parts.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE DIVISION, CASE NO. 16-61511-CIV-WJZ
CAROL WILDING, ET AL.
DNC SERVICES CORP (dba) DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, ET AL.,
Plaintiffs: Jared H. Beck, Esq. – Argued on behalf of the Sanders supports.
Defendants: Bruce V. Spiva, Esq. – Argued on behalf of the DNC.
Transcript of Motion Hearing had before the Honorable William J. Zloch, United States District Judge:
MR. SPIVA: Your Honor, just briefly, this is really an action that was brought as a political weapon against the DNC and its former chairperson, Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz. And it really threatens some serious First Amendment injury to the defendants, because the crux of the plaintiffs’ claims here are that the DNC and Congresswoman Schultz purportedly breached an internal rule of the party in saying on the one hand that the party would remain neutral between the two candidates and on the other hand not doing that behind the scenes. That’s the allegation. And I think really what runs through all of these questions, your Honor, the questions that the Court would have to address to resolve that claim that really demonstrate why there is no subject-matter jurisdiction, why this can’t be resolved as a class action, and why there’s a failure to state a claim, and that is, your Honor, the Court would have to resolve such issues as what was the meaning of the Democratic Party’s internal rule and how should it be enforced.
THE COURT: You’re talking about the DNC’s charter now.
MR. SPIVA: Yes, their bylaws, which is where this purported obligation arises to remain neutral as between the candidates.
THE COURT: Article V, Section 4.
MR. SPIVA: Correct, your Honor.
THE COURT: Go ahead.
MR. SPIVA: And the Court would have to basically tell the party that it couldn’t change that rule, even though it’s a discretionary rule that it didn’t need to adopt to begin with.
MR. BECK: Now, they’ve said in their opening remarks, essentially, that there’s no such thing as the Democratic Party, or we can’t ascertain who’s in the Democratic Party. I mean, to me, you know, that’s — that — I think that would be a surprising proposition to most people in this country. I think we can figure out who’s a democrat and who’s not. But I think those are factual issues anyway. So, I don’t really think it’s a stretch at all to say that, number one, there is a Democratic Party; and, number two, that the party owes a fiduciary duty to its members. And if the party’s not — and if the party doesn’t owe such a duty to its members, then who does it owe a duty to? Well, you know, I think in some ways that’s what this case may be about.
THE COURT: So, are you suggesting that this is just part of the business, so to speak, that it’s not unusual for, let’s say, the DNC, the RNC to take sides with respect to any particular candidate and to support that candidate over another?
MR. SPIVA: Well, I’m not suggesting that that is par for the course, your Honor. But what I am suggesting is to have those kinds of allegations is the rough and tumble of politics. And so — but that’s for the party to decide. The Court’s not gonna get into that. Here, you have something far more inchoate, your Honor, which is this purported — this claim that the party acted without evenhandedness and impartiality. That — even to define what constitutes evenhandedness and impartiality really would already drag the Court well into a political question and a question of how the party runs its own affairs.
The party could have favored a candidate. I’ll put it that way. Maybe that’s a better way of answering your Honor’s original question. Even if it were true, that’s the business of the party, and it’s not justiciable.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you, Counsel.
MR. SPIVA: But here, where you have a party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.
A few month later, the Federal Judge dismissed the suit. The judge confirmed this in his judgment: “The Court must now decide whether Plaintiffs have suffered a concrete injury particularized to them, or one certainly impending, that is traceable to the DNC and its former chair’s conduct — the keys to entering federal court. The Court holds that they have not, which means the truth of their claims cannot be tested in this Court.”
The important take-away from all this is that the DNC’s attorneys never bothered refuting the lawsuit’s claim that the primary process was biased against Sanders. Instead, they argued the DNC has a right to conduct primaries however it chooses.
I’ve don’t believe in conspiracy theories. What’s the use? Our political leaders have always been very open about their ambitions. It’s all there for us to read.
Thanks for reading 🙂
DNC Lawyers Argue DNC Has Right to Pick Candidates in Back Rooms: http://observer.com/2017/05/dnc-lawsuit-presidential-primaries-bernie-sanders-supporters/