National Democratic Party officials decided to disenfranchise Florida voters. Florida will lose all 210 of its presidential delegates, leaving the fourth largest state without a vote for the Democrats' presidential nominee, unless the state party agrees to hold its primary later in the 2008 election calendar.
Party rules allow only Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to hold 2008 primary contests before February 5.
Florida's primary date was advanced to January 29, by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature, to give the state a more prominent voice in presidential selection process. Florida Democratic party officials said they originally opposed the change. That may be, but they are now committed to January primary election because they fear less voter participation if Democrats hold a separate primary after January 29.
The Florida Democratic Party was given 30 days to comply with the national party rules by moving its presidential primary at least seven days later. In true Democratic fashion, the state party would rather sue than play by the rules:
Elected officials in Florida have said they would consider legal action and a protest at the convention if the national party barred the state's delegates.Get creative lawyers and you can always sue. The question is whether you will win, and if so what will you win? Someday, Democrats may come to understand it is better to simply play by the rules.
[. . .]
Florida's congressional delegation has raised the possibility of a voting rights investigation in response to the punishment.
National Democratic officials insist there is no legal basis to force the party to seat delegates in violation of its rules. Florida officials could not say what law the DNC would have violated or where the case could be pursued.