The New York Democratic presidential primary must take place on June 23, despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, because canceling it would be unconstitutional, a judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan handed down the ruling Tuesday after hearing arguments from representatives for withdrawn presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, who argued that it was wrong to cancel the vote because it would deprive them of representation at the Democratic convention.
Judge Torres noted in her decision that there is enough time before the primary occurs for the state to figure out how to carry it out safely.
She wrote that canceling it deprived delegates of the opportunity influence the party's platform on a variety of matters and that it "deprived Democratic voters of the opportunity to elect delegates who could push their point of view in that forum. The loss of these First Amendment rights is a heavy hardship."
Democratic members of the State's Board of Elections had previously voted to cancel the primary, even though the state was still holding its congressional and state-level primaries on June 23.
They argued that since former Vice President Joe Biden is now running unopposed, there was no reason to hold the primary amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The NY Board of Elections said its legal team was reviewing the decision.
Photo: Getty Images