On August 25, a federal judge dismissed the high-profile class-action suit brought in June of last year against the DNC and its chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, by Bernie Sanders supporters who donated to the DNC and believed the party favored Hillary Clinton over the Bernmeister.
What makes his dismissal noteworthy is not only the fact that most of the pop media are glossing over the details, but what those details are. Indeed, the details of Judge William Zloch’s dismissal should be a wake-up call to people who still believe the fantasy that the DNC is fair and incorruptible, and that the U.S. court system is going to help solve the problem.
The suit alleged that in the 2016 election, donors who gave to the DNC expected that during the primary season, the party would be impartial, but, of course, leaked DNC e-mails revealed another story. They revealed a tale of massive corruption in favor of Hillary Clinton by an organization filled to the brim with Clinton pals and cronies. They revealed not only leanings in favor of Hillary, but leanings that would manifest themselves in debate questions being given to Hillary by CNN employee Donna Brasile (formerly employed by President Bill Clinton), and even derogatory statements made about Bernie in internal e-mails between DNC staff.
And what most pop media dinosaurs did not report was that in his dismissal, William Zloch, a Reagan appointee and judge at the US District Court in the Southern District of Florida, actually acknowledged the wrongdoing of the DNC, but due to technicalities of the law that he perceived, he said he was unable to hear the case.
The capper? Judge Zloch implied that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing partly because they should not have expected a stance of impartiality from the DNC.
Let that sink in.
First, he acknowledged the surreptitious acts of the DNC. Not that it was hard to do so, since the e-mails about it are available for anyone who would like to visit Wikileaks and do a two second search, but it’s nice to see a judge in the government confirm reality once in a while. In his dismissal, he wrote:
The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party’s nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publically proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial.
But then, the judge states the problems he sees with the plaintiffs’ position, which include this:
But not one of them alleges that they ever read the DNC’s charter or heard the statements they now claim are false before making their donations. And not one of them alleges that they took action in reliance on the DNC’s charter or the statements identified in the First Amended Complaint (DE 8). Absent such allegations, these Plaintiffs lack standing.
The suit was actually comprised of three classes. The first was the “DNC Donor Class,” the second was the “Sanders Donor Class,” and the third was the “Democratic Party Class.” Plaintiffs offered numerous complaints, but chief among them was the fact that, despite the Democratic National Committee being the organization that has in its name the name of the political party, and despite the fact that the organization exists to promote Democrat candidates in the U.S. and is not called “The Hillary Clinton for President” organization, the party was biased towards Hillary in the primary. The plaintiffs point out the obvious: that other Democrats were running, and thus the DNC reneged on the very essence of its existence. It wasn’t a “party” organization, it was a single-candidate-supporting organization.
Despite this clarity, Judge Zloch determined that the plaintiffs never showed that they had read the charter of the DNC that openly stated the Committee was going to play “neutrally,” so they can’t claim to have been misled.
There were other, more technical reasons he dismissed the case, reasons stemming from the plaintiffs not verifying they were citizens of “diverse” geographic areas and from the lack of what the judge saw as a method of financial redress, but the preference problem cited above is the most important, for it reveals an evidently flawed assumption in the opinion of the judge.
The judge found that unless the plaintiffs showed that they had read the charter of the DNC, a document that merely states in detail the “impartiality” the plaintiffs assumed, they can’t claim in court that the very organization called “The Democratic National Committee” should have acted with impartiality.
So let’s figure this out. These people didn’t donate to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. They donated to the DNC. The DNC supposedly promoted the party which had in it numerous candidates, including HRC and Bernie Sanders. The DNC favored HRC. Yet the plaintiffs have no standing because they didn’t read the charter that simply states what the DNC officials had openly claimed, and that the very title of the pernicious organization suggests?
That seems like quite a stretch of jurisprudential legerdemain and a torturing of logic.
It is nice to see a judge acknowledge the claims of corruption, but the outcome will no doubt be frustrating for anyone who believed the DNC would live up to its name.
Those who never joined the DNC? We weren’t so shocked. When it comes to politicians and their bread and butter, we often recall the famous statement of John Lydon in the waning seconds of his first band’s final U.S. tour. As the financial rug was pulled out from him and his band-mates, and he was left without even a plane ticket to get back to the UK, he thought about the promises offered him and told the crowd: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
(Cover Photo: Mark Nozell)