This week marks another step for the class action suit against the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Tuesday, Senior Judge William J. Zloch heard oral arguments pertaining to the DNC’s Motion to Dismiss request. The DNC was trying to argue that the class action lawsuit against them “fails to allege any claims upon which relief may be granted as a matter of law.”
So, for over three and a half hours, Judge Zloch heard oral arguments from both sides as to whether or not the case should even be allowed to move forward. Jared Beck, representing the plaintiffs called the courtroom discussions “serious” and “intense” and relayed to the public that the judge came prepared.
Beck said that the senior judge did not actually issue a ruling from the bench on whether or not the class action lawsuit against the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will move forward, but he indicated that the senior judge would issue a written ruling within a reasonable period of time. That time frame is not currently known. Beck relayed on Twitter that he expects the transcripts from the almost four-hour-long hearing to be available for the public to read on Friday.
The class action suit is known as Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corp. and Deborah “Debbie” Wasserman-Schultz class action and is case number 16-cv-61511-WJZ. The lawsuit is being handled by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Judge William J. Zloch is a senior federal judge for the United States District Court serving the Southern District of Florida. Zloch joined the federal court after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan and assumed senior status this past January. In an interview with Sun Sentinel, Zloch reportedly declined to discuss his own political opinions, but he did praise Supreme Court of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a conservative. Since taking the bench, Zloch has generally been considered “a conservative judge with a reputation for giving stiff sentences,” according to Sun Sentinel.
Bernie Sanders’ former primary supporters make up a majority of the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against the DNC.
Beck was also interviewed for a Real Progressives live interview.
The class action lawsuit alleges that the leaders within the Democratic Party, including Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, disproportionately elevated Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic presidential nominating elections. It alleges that the DNC gave preferential treatment to Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders while presenting itself as a neutral political organization. The class action lawsuit alleges that the DNC violated its own rules on neutrality. The lawsuit was filed in the summer of 2016, which was over a month before the DNC emails were leaked by WikiLeaks. The emails seemed to show actions taken by some leaders within the organization to reduce Sanders’ popularity and elevate Clinton’s campaign starting before the first primary or caucus vote was ever cast.
WikiLeaks presented very strong evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims. For example, the leaked emails even revealed that DNC officials knew that chairs hadn’t been thrown at the Nevada Convention by Bernie Sanders delegates, but the DNC still reportedly tried to seed a Ralston article claiming that it had happened, because important nominating elections were happening that week and every liberal vote mattered.
The Observer explained the DNC’s defense in another compelling editorial by Michael Sainato.
“So far in court, the DNC’s lawyers haven’t refuted that the primaries were rigged, but in their motion to dismiss, they argued that some Sanders supporters cited in the class action lawsuit posted on social media during the primaries that the Democratic Party was favoring Clinton. The lawyers have also argued that neutrality is just a political promise that the DNC should not be bound to keeping.”
Welp. So much for "fair and square".https://t.co/maPVsRelSL— Michael Graham (@BLUpfront) July 22, 2016
Congratulations to Hillary Clinton on winning the 2016 democratic nomination...she stole it fair and square! pic.twitter.com/FuG74hYfFd— Watchdoggy (@watchdoggy) July 30, 2016
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee. They intend to argue that Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC staff overtly violated the DNC’s own rules. Article four, section five of the DNC Charter states, “The Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”
Whether or not the plaintiff’s lawyers will be able to argue the case against the DNC will depend on how the judge rules on the Motion to Dismiss. Let us know in the comments below whether or not you think the judge should hear the case against the DNC.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]