Home / US / Two federal judges scold the USPS for the changes it had planned ahead of the election

Two federal judges scold the USPS for the changes it had planned ahead of the election

The separate sentences on Sunday and Monday represent the last times a judge has reprimanded USPS post general Louis DeJoy and the Trump administration after several Democrat-led states and others have sued the changes. The agency is under further scrutiny now as more Americans will vote by mail in the November general election due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Gerald McHugh of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled on Monday that the postal service cannot limit extra or late travel for mail delivery and cannot ban overtime so that its workers can deliver mail.

“As mail users who rely on the postal service’s historic commitment to a” every piece, every day “policy, plaintiffs have been harmed in a number of significant ways by these changes,”

; McHugh wrote. “The fact that the postal service, by its own admission, is unable to explain how communications relating to delayed and extra travel have been interpreted in the field and across the country supports the conclusion that the operational structure internal postal service would be an obstacle to ensuring that anything but a national injunction could be effectively enforced. “

The judge also noted that the Trump administration’s approach to the lawsuit hurt their case, making it difficult for them to determine how much USPS top leaders were involved in making policy changes.

“I am concerned and draw negative conclusions from what appears to be a strategic effort by the defendants to limit the Court’s understanding of the significant degree to which some senior postal service officials were directly involved in the operational changes that went into effect in July. My concern on this point weighs heavily in favor of an injunction to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to cure these critical deficits, ”McHugh wrote.

The day before, DC District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued a court order barring USPS from making the changes, saying a coalition of state governments, including New York, “demonstrated that the combination of the reduction in delayed travel, extra travel and reduced sorting capacity jeopardize the timely delivery of electoral mail. ”

On Thursday, DeJoy said that in many cases what the judges decided were changes he had already planned to implement.

Sullivan ruled that while he did not want to micromanage the USPS, this ruling was in the public interest, particularly during a pandemic.

“It is clearly in the public interest to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, ensure safe alternatives to in-person voting and require the USPS to abide by the law,” Sullivan wrote.

The court order stated that what the USPS was doing had wide-ranging effects.

“Although it is clear that Congress did not intend for the courts to manage the operations of the USPS, requiring the USPS to comply with the statutory requirement of obtaining an advisory opinion from the PRC and providing notice and comment before implementing a change in the nature of postal services which will generally affect the service on a national or substantially national basis “is not a micro-management; requires the USPS to act within its statutory authority “.

A week ago, a federal judge ruled that the postal service must prioritize the ballot box and reverse some key political changes imposed by DeJoy, saying the agency’s “managerial failures” have undermined public confidence in postal voting. .
A judge in Washington state ordered several similar changes the week before and blew up the Trump administration for what he called a “politically motivated attack” on the USPS.

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