A federal judge has issued a decision which will prevent the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy from continuing to implement a series of policy changes that have greatly slowed mail delivery across the country less than two months before many Americans will cast their ballots by mail.
“The opinion from Judge Stanley Bastian in Eastern Washington’s US District Court enjoins Trump administration postal policies as harmful to voters’ ability to cast ballots this November and deliberately suppressive to voters. It places the judge at the center of a political furor in which the court steps into the extraordinary position of stopping the entire USPS from making any changes that may affect efficient mail delivery nationwide.”
In his ruling, Judge Bastian made it clear he believes the only reason DeJoy put the changes in place was to benefit the reelecton of President Donald Trump and disenfranchise millions of voters:
“Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement. This is evident in President Trump’s highly partisan words and tweets, the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots, and recent attempts and lawsuits by the Republican National Committee and President Trump’s campaign to stop the States’ efforts to bypass the Postal Service by utilizing ballot drop boxes, as well as the timing of the changes.”
Bastian’s ruling means that effective immediately, the Postal Service and DeJoy will have to undo all of the changes made over the past few months, including the removal of mail sorting machines from postal facilities across the country. It will also lift all restrictions on late and extra trips that are often required by mail carriers to assure mail is delivered in a timely fashion.
All election mail, Bastian noted in his ruling, must be treated as first class:
“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.”
In response to Judge Bastian’s ruling, USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer remarked:
“While we are exploring our legal options, there should be no doubt that the Postal Service is ready and committed to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives. Our number one priority is to deliver election mail on time.”
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