Democratic politicians like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) have been railing against what they view as an undemocratic effort to suppress votes. Former Vice President Joe Biden has even peddled a conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump was certain to halt the November election. However, a New York judge has ruled that it is the Democratic party that violated the Constitution in cancelling the June 23rd presidential primary to effectively anoint Biden as the party nominee. What was particularly striking was the highly dubious argument presented in court by the Democratic Party.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that the Democratic Party violated the First and 14th Amendment rights of candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders by cancelling the primary. What was transparently opportunistic was the rationale. The Democratic Party argued that they needed to cancel the primary because of the danger of the coronavirus. However, it was still planning to hold its congressional and state-level primaries on June 23.
Judge Torres wrote that
“If all but one of the presidential candidates are removed from the ballot and the primary is not held, Delegate Plaintiffs will be deprived of the opportunity to compete for delegate slots and shape the course of events at the Convention, and voters will lose the chance to express their support for delegates who share their views. The loss of these First Amendment rights is a heavy hardship . . . There is also a strong public interest in permitting the presidential primary to proceed with the full roster of qualified candidates.”
Sanders had petitioned New York to remain on the primary ballot.
The move by the New York Democrats was particularly resented by Sanders’ supporters after the Democratic National Committee effectively rigged the primary to guarantee the nomination of Hillary Clinton in 2016. This year, the party establishment was equally active in working against Sanders. (and here) Hillary Clinton has actively opposed Sanders. The decision of the party only reenforced the view of many Sanders’ supporters that the party only believed in the democratic process when the results are acceptable to the party establishment. That view was stated repeatedly to me at the last major campaign rally of Sanders in Michigan.
The question for Biden will be whether the current controversy over the allegations of sexual assault will impact the voting in the primary.