The Democratic National Convention Reportedly Bars Two Male Delegates From Vermont And Orders The Substitution Of Female Delegates

2016_Democratic_National_Convention_LogoThere is a little reported story out of the Democratic National Convention where two Sanders delegates have been barred from attending the event. The problem was not their credentials or their conduct. State Sen. Tim Ashe (right below) and Ken Dean are men and the DNC ruled that there were simply too many of that kind in the delegation. Vermont was ordered to replace them with women, any women, so long as the delegation was equal. Ashe and Dean have filed challenges for good reason.

TAsheCoupled with a growing controversy over the determined effort of the Democrats not to release a list of donors to the media, this is hardly a good story to trigger days before the opening of convention. The national party appears to be imposing a quota system on delegates based on gender despite the fact that such delegates can claim that they are qualified through the democratic process. After all Dean and Ashe were elected as delegates on June 11. Then, on July 5, the state party was ordered to remove them due to their gender deficiency.

Of course, the infamous superdelegates remain untouchable. It is just those elected by the people that can be negated solely on the basis for their gender. Notably, eight of 10 Vermont superdelegates are men.

The Democratic party leadership appears to be moving away from the fight against gender discrimination in guaranteeing equal opportunity to the fight for gender equality with the use of quotas to force gender balance. Ironically, it was Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in United States v. Virginia (1996) who warned that “Today’s skeptical scrutiny of official action denying rights or opportunities based on sex responds to volumes of history.” Not only are these delegates saying that they are being denied position due to their gender, but the DNC is negating the choice of Vermont voters — male and female. There is such a thing as individual achievement and choice. The Vermont voters are allowed to select people on the basis for their individual merits rather than categorical exclusions based on race, gender, religion, or other immutable characteristics.

This point was made by the Supreme Court in University of California v. Bakke (1978):

[R]ace, like gender and illegitimacy, . . . is an immutable characteristic which its possessors are powerless to escape or set aside. While a classification is not per se invalid because it divides classes on the basis of an immutable characteristic, see supra at 355-356, it is nevertheless true that such divisions are contrary to our deep belief that “legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility or wrongdoing,” . . . and that advancement sanctioned, sponsored, or approved by the State should ideally be based on individual merit or achievement, or at the least on factors within the control of an individual.

Those concerns are heightened in my view when alleged gender discrimination negates the results of a democratic process like delegate selection.

What do you think?

230 thoughts on “The Democratic National Convention Reportedly Bars Two Male Delegates From Vermont And Orders The Substitution Of Female Delegates”

  1. Kaine changes his mind. about the TPP. Pence has not. There is not way Pence appeals to working people. Keep defending “pray away the gay” , anti- minimum wage, and pro TPP Pence. Your slip is shpwing as my friend Blouise used to say.

  2. SWM

    Kaine is a TPPer. Choosing him simply gives us more determination to vote for Stein — and for some Trump.

    IMO this article, “Clinton Inflames Progressive Base with Choice of Tim Kaine as Vice President” sums it up well:

    “Reporting in recent days increasingly signaled that Kaine was Clinton’s top choice, but the official announcement confirmed the worst fears of progressives who warned such a pick would be taken as “a pronounced middle finger” to the millions who voted for Sanders during the primary season. At stake, many critics of the choice indicate, are pressing issues—including reproductive rights, climate change, financial regulation, and corporate-friendly trade agreements—where Kaine holds positions far to the right of where they think the party, and the country, should be headed.”

    “In the last week alone, Kaine is on the record as pushing for new rounds of Wall Street deregulation and voicing active support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement—both in direct contradiction to what grassroots progressives have been demanding.”

  3. “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wants to reach out to blue-collar workers, but his running mate isn’t going to make that easy.

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is a free-trade supporter who has opposed lifting the minimum wage. Neither of those positions is going to help the GOP ticket with labor unions; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Pence the “second worst” vice presidential pick in history” Kaine like Biden will do well with union members and others that are for a fair wage.

  4. @Nick
    Thanks for the kind words! I have come to view “liberal” as an “L word” though – if I have to have a label it would be Progressive. I enjoy this blog so much and learn a great deal each day from everyone. It’s gonna get hotter so I will spend lots of time on it =) I was so looking forward to Philly – meeting up with fellow Progressives face to face but had an unexpected car expense so I will follow my peeps from afar and on this site. It’s going to be wild!

  5. Autumn, You are a great contributor. We needed more women here. We got rid of some condescending, paternalistic, liberal men and it opened it up for women from liberal to conservative to comment here. We have more regular women commenters here now than anytime prior. We need JAG to return. She is a guerilla fighter Clintonista. We now have women across the spectrum. In the old days there were a handful of liberal women and the fascist, paternalistic men would not even let them respond to criticism. The bloviating men would swoop in and handle the situation. I could tell the women resented it, but they kept their mouths shut.

  6. @Autumn

    Thanks! Who knows how much she was getting. I think there is some information out the other day about the Clinton Sekrit Blogger Army. I will see if I can find it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. SWM,
    Thanks for posting that link. I read The Hill sometimes but hadn’t seen that. The MSM is giving Johnson some attention to pull votes off the Donald cause Johnson is all about the TPP.

  8. @Squeek

    Spot on response to Rose. I am honoured to be a “Turley girl” I had been reading this blog for three years before I jumped in to comment — and this is the only blog I comment on precisely because it is an open town hall-like forum where people with different perspectives weigh in and we can say whatever we wish. So, how much money do you think Rose is getting from the Clintons?

  9. @Rose

    You said above, “I can’t wait to see the end of her.[DWS] BUT, you don’t fire her a month before the convention unless you are looking forward to chaos.”

    Let me translate that for you! “It is politically expedient for us Democrats to keep a sneaky, lying, cheating, person around so that we can we present a false image to the voters and win the election!”

    Calling Captain Obvious! Isn’t that what HRC is to you, also???

    Plus, sure you want to split! People around here don’t just accept whatever political shill drivel is spewed out at face value. You get confronted, and argued with, and if you are wrong and support stupid stuff, then you can bet that somebody is going to let you know it. Around here, you actually have to think, and use your brain, and do more than pose!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  10. You’re a stronger woman than I, swarthmore. I must leave the field. Too damn depressing to be around all these people.

  11. Too bad about Autumn. One more Turley reader who thinks a winning comment is a sneer and a snarl.

  12. J’adore Jimmy Dore. Totally and accurately deconstructs the recent Democratic sit-in. What a joke!

  13. Rose, Bernie’s supporters disregarded older black and hispanic leaders. How did that work out for them? They blame the DNC but the lack of connections in minority communities is largely to blame for Bernie’s loss.. The Clintons have deep roots there.

  14. Lewis exemplifies one of the black power brokers who lost his way – or maybe he has dementia. Disparaging Bernie’s involvement on civil rights issues was very telling. Pretty sure MLK, Jr. would back Bernie over HRC as he was deeply concerned over economic injustice along with other issues. I’m curious, do you get paid for each post by the Clintons or draw a salary?

  15. Autumn is definitely young. She ‘used to hang’ at clubs….

    May go a ways explaining her sneer at Lewis. Youth, and not being over here to witness what he has done.

    But, yeah. Laura did not give a nazi salute. Fun optic, though.

  16. Autumn sneers at Lewis? LEWIS? SERIOUSLY?

    I think Autumn must be very young.

    And Autumn, kudos on taking the issues seriously. And nice work on suggesting, in a cute way of course, that the Clinton campaign threatened to kill members of Sander’s family. Truly classy and evidence of a serious effort at discussing the issues.

    Sooo glad I made an effort to treat your TPP concerns with respect.

    Can’t wait for your next appeal.

  17. @SWM

    Believe me: I am highly sensitive to anything that smacks of neo Nazism – I did grow up in Deutschland remember. I even knew some neo Nazis – the club I used to hang at was remarkable in retrospect – druggies, preppies, biker gang members, jocks, hippies, “ordinary” folk like myself, blacks, Turks, Italians, Greeks and somehow everyone got along. I witnessed only three physical altercations – all of which were caused by GIs (white) who kept harassing women when they got drunk (subsequently all Americans except for myself were banned). I asked one neo Nazi guy about his beliefs and he said “Hitler was great because he got rid of foreigners.” When I pointed out that I too was a foreigner he said “well, you are white, with blue eyes and you speak German so you are okay” Bizarre. Otherwise a nice guy except for his insane perspective.

    While I am sure that some of the Donald’s supporters are KKK members that was NOT a Nazi salute.

  18. Silly me. I thought Turley readers would use the handy-dandy link provided to the full text to remarks Obama made at the police event. Silly me.

    Nick was offended that I edited out the laughter part. Here it is:

    ” It’s a good reminder of something that I’ve said over the last couple of weeks, which is our way of life — our freedoms, our ability to go about our business every day, raising our kids and seeing them grow up and graduate from high school — and now about to leave their dad — (laughter) — I’m sorry, I’m getting a little too personal — getting a little too personal there — (laughter) — that depends on law enforcement. It depends on the men and women in uniform every single day who are, under some of the most adverse circumstances imaginable at times, making sure to keep us safe.

    And obviously, we have gone through a really tough time these last couple of weeks on a whole bunch of fronts. And most recently, I had the tough job of talking to the widows of those police officers who had been killed in Baton Rouge. And I know that for men and women in uniform, each loss like that is like a loss in your own family.”

    Now Nick maintains the ‘joke’ is immediately followed by remarks about Munich.


    It is immediately followed by remarks about American law enforcement and the job they do for us.

    And do you see that notation of ‘(laughter)”. That laughter came from the men and women who were gathered to listen to these remarks – cops.

    Now let’s have a show of hands of all readers here that think that cops would laugh at offensive jokes when gathered at a press conference on Munich terrorism.

    Nick asks:

    “He was speaking to cops but it was A PRESS CONFERENCE covered by the press. How the hell else would there be video and print reports?”

    Answer: The White House and various media outlets make videos of almost all scheduled events and the White House provides a text of all prepared remarks. Check out (Note: this stuff is how they fill up presidential libraries.)

    Rosie’s question: How many cops usually attend press conferences?
    Rosie’s question: Where is the press at this press conference?
    Rosie’s question: What questions were asked at this press conference?
    Rosie’s question: Has there ever been a press conference where not one question was asked by the press
    Rosie’s question: Why was this press conference held in an auditorium?

    Those interested in relying on their own eyes, the unedited CSPAN video is found @ 10:32.
    and the full, un-propagandized text is found @ 1:48.

    As the Brothers Grimm, or Plato once stated:

    You can bring a horse’s behind to water, but good luck on making them watch the video.

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