Federal judge says he’ll block USPS policy changes nationwide

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Judge Stanley Bastian said during a court hearing Thursday he will issue the order blocking the changes made by the US Postal Service.

A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general sued USPS last month, claiming that DeJoy broke the law when he implemented policy changes that disrupted mail delivery across the country. USPS rejects these claims and DeJoy says he isn’t trying to sabotage the election.

The policy changes at the Postal Service created “a substantial possibility” that “voters may be disenfranchised,” Bastian said during the hearing, adding that “harm has already taken place.”

“Substantial evidence has been presented that these transformative changes have been done by the Postal Service which has made mail delivery slower and less efficient,” Bastian said.

The plaintiffs submitted more than 70 public remarks, including tweets the President has made in attacking mail-in voting.

At one point during the proceedings, 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 case via video conference.

CNN has reached out to the USPS for comment.

The ruling comes as some Americans are beginning to receive their mail-in ballots and cast their votes for this November’s presidential election.

Some of the Democratic state officials who brought the lawsuit cheered the judge’s decision.

“Huge victory to protect the Postal Service — Washington state federal judge blocks unlawful USPS policies delaying mail and impacting elections,” tweeted Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who led the coalition of Democratic attorneys general.

Plaintiffs claim DeJoy enforced “Leave Mail Behind” policy

Since his arrival at the USPS in June, DeJoy oversaw the implementation of only one major initiative: restricting late and extra trips that mail trucks take.

Although the USPS has admitted it contributed mail delays, DeJoy kept it in effect, even after he suspended changes ahead of November’s election in light of mounting criticism. Postal employees and union officials have repeatedly told CNN because of DeJoy’s new policy, mail was delayed after it was left behind on loading docks.

The state attorneys general also said that, “DeJoy has abandoned the Postal Service’s longstanding commitment to treat all Election Mail under First Class delivery standards.” Some election mail sent by election officials is sent by marketing mail, which has a slower delivery time.

In years past, USPS had — as a courtesy — treated all election mail as first class mail.

US attorneys repeatedly argued that there had not been substantial changes at USPS.

Bipartisan officials from several states rebuke USPS' inaccurate election mailers

But Bastian said that he was “personally warned” by the USPS that his and his family’s ballots may be delayed through the informative mailer the postal service sent out regarding elections.

“If nothing has changed, why did I get a warning from the Postal Service yesterday for my own personal ballot?” he asked.

This story has been updated with additional details from the hearing.







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