A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.
Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service. The states challenged the Postal Service’s so-called “leave behind” policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load. The states were also looking to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as First Class mail. Led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the states said the Postal Service made the changes without first bringing them to the Postal Regulatory Commission for public comment and an advisory opinion, as required by federal law. They also said the changes interfered with their constitutional authority to administer their elections.
The other states suing include Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia. Pennsylvania is leading a separate multistate lawsuit over the changes, and New York and Montana have filed their own challenges. Many more voters are expected to vote by mail this November because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the states have expressed concern that delays might result in voters not receiving ballots or registration forms in time. (AP)