A federal judge Tuesday ordered the restoration of the June 23 Democratic primary that had been canceled over concerns about the Covid-19 epidemic.
US District Judge Analisa Torres said that taking presidential contenders off the primary ballot deprived them of votes for the Democratic Party’s nomination. She said it also reduced the influence delegates might have on the platform.
It also “deprived Democratic voters of the opportunity to elect delegates who could push their point of view in that forum,” she said. “The loss of these First Amendment rights is a heavy hardship.”
“The Court concludes that Plaintiffs and Plaintiff-Intervenors have shown a clear and substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the Democratic Commissioners’ April 27 Resolution removing Yang, Sanders, and eight other Democratic presidential candidates from the ballot deprived them of associational rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution,” Torres ruled.
The ruling would restore Andrew Yang, who brought the suit, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others to the ballot, even though they have withdrawn as candidates.
TheHill.com reported that presumptive nominee Joe Biden and Sanders had previously reached an agreement that the Vermont senator could keep delegates he’d already won.
Yang said, “I’m glad that a federal judge agreed that depriving millions of New Yorkers of the right to vote was wrong. I hope that the New York Board of Elections takes from this ruling a newfound appreciation of their role in safeguarding our democracy.”