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,”
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.
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 “.