The Democrats in Florida are standing firm in their support for President Joe Biden, which they bypassed in the presidential race. However, they are now required to do it in a federal court.
For the March 19 ballot, a Tampa lawyer and former candidate for public office is requesting that a federal judge direct state election authorities to include the names of both Biden and Minnesota Democratic Representative Dean Phillips. The Democrats’ procedure, as described by Florida law, is alleged to be unconstitutional in a complaint that was filed last week against Secretary Cord Byrd and the Florida Democratic Party.
According to a motion submitted by Michael Steinberg—a former Reform Party vice presidential candidate and unsuccessful candidate for the legislature and Congress—”A grave injustice would have ensued because only President Joseph Biden would have obtained access to the ballot by unlawful means”—a statement that is supported by the court’s denial of relief.
The Florida Phoenix broke the news of Steinberg’s lawsuit first.
Phillips, a rich Minnesota lawmaker, began his unlikely presidential campaign in late October. Simultaneously, the Democratic primary in Florida was essentially cancelled when the state executive committee reached a unanimous decision to submit solely Biden’s name to Florida election officials at the party’s annual conference in Orlando.
The decision infuriated Phillips and his team because it was announced so late, just before the primary candidate submission deadline on November 30. American citizens would anticipate a lack of democracy in Tehran, not Tallahassee, according to Phillips, who referred to it as “intentional disenfranchisement.”
A representative for Phillips’s campaign claimed the complaint was filed independently, unaware of their involvement, and that the candidate himself is not named as a party in the action. In the past, Phillips’s campaign has broached the subject of challenging the exclusion from the ballot with several entities, including the Democratic National Committee.
The Florida Democratic Party has acknowledged the lawsuit, according to a party spokesman. However, the Democrats detailed their procedure, calling it “not uncommon” and comparing it to their work for President Obama in 2011. According to the statement, Phillips’ name was not submitted for nomination at the state convention.
The Florida Democratic Party has issued a statement affirming their support for the state executive committee’s decision. They have no intention of ignoring the established norms and procedures regarding candidates who were not nominated.
Under Florida law, political parties have until November 30 to inform the state of their choice for the presidential primary ballot. To run for office as a Republican, candidates had to fill out papers and pay a fee that changed based on whether or not they spoke at a statewide GOP conference in early November.
On November 1st, Democrats in Florida sent a notice to the state where Biden was the sole primary contender, far in advance of this year’s deadline. Marianne Williamson, a self-help expert, had been campaigning for months until Phillips entered the race just days before.
There is no specific date specified in the delegate selection plan that Florida Democrats utilise for candidates to request to be included on the primary ballot. The original plan, dating back to early April, stated that the party would compile and sanction a slate of “recognised” candidates. To reflect the change that will take place at the state party convention, a revised version was filed to the state on November 1st. Phillips’ campaign began on October 27th, and the convention concluded on October 29th, the day the state party officially recognised Biden as their sole candidate.
According to Steinberg’s lawsuit, the Democratic Party’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” and violated his rights to due process and equal protection. Steinberg claimed he planned to vote for the Democratic Party. He went on to say that the Democrats’ procedure was “unduly vague.”
According to an injunction application filed by Steinberg, “The defendants cannot dispute that Congressman Dean Phillips is a nationally recognised candidate for president and has been since he announced his candidature in October, 2023.” A wide variety of media outlets, including news shows, newspapers, and social media, have covered his candidature and his appearances on television. Dean Phillips’s credentials as a member of the Democratic Party are uncontested by the Florida Democratic Party. His policies are in line with those of the Democratic Party…
Judge Allen Winsor was appointed by former President Donald Trump. Steinberg has requested that his claim be considered more quickly.