Washington Judge Hits Postmaster with Election Mail Injunction

September 28, 2020by Peter Blumberg, Bloomberg News (TNS)
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

A federal judge in the nation’s capital is the latest to order the Trump administration not to implement policy changes that could delay mail delivery for voters in the November elections.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C., issued a preliminary injunction in a case led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and joined by New Jersey and Hawaii, along with New York City and San Francisco. President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have faced multi-state lawsuits alleging the administration is attempting to undermine the U.S. Postal Service ahead of an expected surge in mail-in voting, which the president has frequently claimed without evidence will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Sullivan said that while courts aren’t supposed to micromanage the postal service, it’s clear that the administration didn’t follow the proper protocol for making policy changes.

In response to a similar injunction issued in federal court in Yakima, Washington, DeJoy told the judge there last week that the postal service can’t reassemble the hundreds of high speed mail-sorting machines that were taken apart this year.

The Sept. 17 injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian in Yakima requires the USPS to reverse disruptive operational changes implemented by DeJoy, including restrictions on overtime and changes to the handling of election mail, such as absentee ballot applications.

A second injunction was issued against the USPS last week in a suit brought by voters in federal court in Manhattan. Another group of states is seeking a nationwide injunction on DeJoy’s changes in federal court in Pennsylvania, where arguments took place on Thursday. At that hearing, lawyers for the USPS said delays are being reversed and claimed states were exaggerating the impact of the changes.

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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