Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks USPS Policy Changes Nationwide
A federal judge issued a decision temporarily blocking the U.S. Postal Service from making sweeping changes to USPS policy ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to CNN.
- Judge Stanley Bastian in Eastern Washington’s U.S. District Court characterized Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s operational changes as deliberately suppressive to voters.
- “The USPS must now undo all changes made in the last few months, including the only one DeJoy has taken ownership of: significantly restricting late and extra trips, according to the decision," CNN wrote.
- "Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy's and the Postal Service's actions is voter disenfranchisement,” Bastian said.
- The judge cited President Trump’s “highly partisan words and tweets,” the impact of the changes on primary elections, and lawsuits by the RNC and Trump campaign to stop states’ election efforts as evidence of intent.
- Bastian said: "It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services' changes is an intentional effort on the part of the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections…"
"It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services' changes is an intentional effort on the part of the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections, especially given that 72% of the ... high speed mail sorting machines that were decommissioned were located in counties where Hillary Clinton received the most votes in 2016."
- Bastian’s decision orders that all election mail must be treated as first-class mail and requires that the USPS notify the court of all prior, current or future requests to reconnect mail sorting machines that were disabled.
"If any post office, distribution center, or other postal facility will be unable to process election mail for the November 2020 election in accordance with First Class delivery standards because of the Postal Service's recent removal and decommissioning of equipment, such equipment will be replaced, reassembled, or reconnected to ensure that the Postal Service can comply with its prior policy delivering election mail in accordance with First Class delivery standards," the decision states.
At one point during the proceedings, the judge said it was "ironical" that the US attorneys saw no issues with going to polls to vote during the global coronavirus pandemic, but wanted to argue the case via videoconference.