NEW YORK (AP) – New York's Democratic presidential primary is due to take place on June 23, because canceling it would be unconstitutional, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan decided after hearing arguments a day earlier, while lawyers for retired presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang argued that it was wrong to cancel the primary.
The judge said there was enough time before the primary took place to figure out how to do it safely.
“If everyone, except one of the presidential candidates, is removed from the vote and the primary is not held, plaintiff delegates will be deprived of the opportunity to compete for seats for delegates and to shape the course of Convention events, and voters will lose their chance to express support for delegates who share his views, wrote the judge. "The loss of these First Amendment rights is a major difficulty."
She added: "There is also a strong public interest in allowing the presidential primary to proceed with the full list of qualified candidates."
Democratic members of the State Elections Council voted to cancel the primaries, although New York still planned to hold its primaries in Congress and the state on June 23.
They cited the danger to coronavirus voters as a reason to cancel the election since former Vice President Joe Biden was endorsed by the top candidates he faced.
New York State Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs said, "We are reviewing it."
Jacobs had called the issue "unnecessary" primary with the suspension of Sanders' campaign and said that reduced participation could reduce the need for so many research workers.
The lawyers who argued with Torres on Monday did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Associated Press writer Marina Villeneuve reported from Albany.
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