A federal judge Tuesday ordered New York’s Democratic presidential primary to proceed on June 23 — a development that heartened supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sanders has suspended his bid, but had hoped to remain on state ballots this spring to collect delegates ahead of the summertime Democratic National Convention.
The development is a victory for Sanders supporters in a state where the progressive movement has struggled to gain a foothold in statewide elections.
Sanders lost New York to Hillary Clinton in a hard-fought 2016 primary and progressive candidates in the Sanders mold running for statewide office are yet to breakthrough in Democratic primaries.
“By voting for Bernie Sanders and sending his delegates to the convention, progressive voters can have a voice in shaping the Democratic Party platform that we know we need at this moment: Medicare for All, a real response to the climate disaster that awaits us, and student debt relief,” said Working Families State Director Sochie Nnaemeka. “If we want to defeat Donald Trump, the national Democratic Part must run on an agenda that can turn out voters who were energized by Sanders, Warren, and Castro’s structural change campaigns — and allowing progressives to shape the platform is a step in the right direction.”
The Sanders campaign had initially protested the primary’s cancellation by calling for New York to lose delegates to the convention.
The court challenge itself was brought by Andrew Yang, the Democratic former presidential candidate and businessman.
The decision to restore the primary is likely to be appealed by the board.
The state Board of Elections in April moved to cancel the presidential primary as the contest was virtually wrapped up in favor of presumptive nominee Joe Biden, the former vice president.
The board also pointed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a need to limit people going to the polls.
Governor Andrew Cuomo did not oppose the decision, but the state is moving to make it easier for people to receive absentee ballots this year by mailing eligible voters an application.