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Jay Bellanca, Traci Strickland, Emily Adams, Nestor Medina, Simran Nanda, Kathryn Levy, Joshua Sauberman, Cari Gardner, Stephen Carpineta, Nancy DeDelva, Ting Barrow, Penny Mintz, George Albro, Intervenors-Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Andrew Cuomo, as Governor of the State of New York, Defendant. (2020)

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United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Andrew YANG, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Jonathan Herzog, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Hellen Suh, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Brian Vogel, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Shlomo Small, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Alison Hwang, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Kristen Medeiros, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; Roger Green, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees, Jay Bellanca, Traci Strickland, Emily Adams, Nestor Medina, Simran Nanda, Kathryn Levy, Joshua Sauberman, Cari Gardner, Stephen Carpineta, Nancy DeDelva, Ting Barrow, Penny Mintz, George Albro, Intervenors-Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Peter S. KOSINSKI, Co-Chair and Commissioner, individually and in his official capacities at the NYS BOE; Todd D. Valentine, Co-Executive Director, individually and in his official capacities at the NYS BOE; Robert A. Brehm, Co-Executive Director, individually and in his official capacities at the NYS BOE, Defendants-Appellants, Andrew Spano, Commissioner, individually and in his official capacities at the NYS BOE, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellant, New York State Board of Elections; Douglas A. Kellner, Co-Chair and Commissioner, individually and in his official capacities at the NYS BOE, ADR Providers-Intervenors-Defendants-Appellants, Andrew Cuomo, as Governor of the State of New York, Defendant.

20-1494-cv

Decided: May 19, 2020

PRESENT: Amalya L. Kearse, Dennis Jacobs, José A. Cabranes, Circuit Judges. FOR PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES: Jeffrey M. Kurzon, Kurzon Kohen LLP, New York, NY. FOR INTERVENORS-PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES: J. Remy Green (Elena L. Cohen, Jonathan Wallace, on the brief) Cohen & Green P.L.L.C., Ridgewood, NY; Arthur Z. Schwartz, Advocates for Justice, New York, NY. FOR DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS: Judith N. Vale, Senior Assistant Solicitor General (Barbara D. Underwood, Solicitor General, Steven C. Wu, Deputy Solicitor General, Jennifer L. Clark, Assistant Solicitor General, on the brief), for Letitia James, Attorney General, State of New York, New York, NY. FOR AMICI CURIAE BERNIE SANDERS AND BERNIE 2020 INC.: Malcolm Seymour, David R. West, Foster Garvey, P.C., New York, NY. FOR AMICI CURIAE NEW YORK STATE VOTERS: Ezra Ishmael Young, Law Office of Ezra Young, Brooklyn, NY. FOR AMICI CURIAE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: Robert Rickner, Rickner PLLC, New York, NY. FOR AMICI CURIAE HEATHER KEY, ET AL.: Walter H. Hackett, III, Law Office of Walter Hackett, Walnut, CA.

SUMMARY ORDER

Defendants-Appellants (“Defendants”) appeal from a May 5, 2020 order of the District Court granting an application of preliminary injunction to require them to reinstate to the Democratic primary ballot those presidential and delegate candidates who were duly qualified as of April 26, 2020, and to hold the primary election on June 23, 2020. Defendants argue that the decision of the New York State Board of Elections (“Board”) to remove from the ballot the candidates who had suspended their campaigns (along with their pledged delegates) is supported by reasonable concerns about harms to the public health and election administration workers in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Defendants argue, the Board’s decision did not violate the First Amendment rights of Plaintiffs and Intervenors-Plaintiffs. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal.

We review de novo the District Court’s legal conclusions in connection with its decision to grant the application for preliminary injunction, see Am. Express Fin. Advisors Inc. v. Thorley, 147 F.3d 229, 231 (2d Cir. 1998), but review its ultimate decision to issue the injunction for abuse of discretion, see Goldman, Sachs & Co. v. Golden Empire Schs. Fin. Auth., 764 F.3d 210, 214 (2d Cir. 2014).

After reviewing the record, we affirm the order granting the application for preliminary injunction for substantially the reasons given by the District Court in its thorough May 5, 2020 Opinion and Order. See Yang v. Kellner, No. 20-cv-3325 (AT), ––– F. Supp. 3d ––––, –––– – ––––, 2020 WL 2129597, at *1–14 (S.D.N.Y. May 5, 2020).

CONCLUSION

We have reviewed all of the remaining arguments raised by Defendants on appeal and find them to be without merit. For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the May 5, 2020 order of the District Court.

The mandate shall issue forthwith. An opinion of this Court will follow explaining its reasoning in further detail.

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