Federal judge blocks U.S. Postal Service changes that he called 'politically motivated'

The 14 states that filed the suit are led by Democrat attorneys general.

Updated: September 18, 2020 - 12:40pm

A federal judge has blocked changes to the United States Postal Service that he says were "a politically motivated attack" that has slowed the county's mail delivery ahead of the November presidential elections.

The nationwide, preliminary injunction to block the changes was issued late Thursday by U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Wash. 

The injunction was sought by 14 states in a case against President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and the U.S. Postal Service over changes made this summer to the service.

Bastian, was appointed by former President Obama. 

"The states have demonstrated that the defendants are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the postal service," the judge said, according to Reuters, which heard the arguments by phone.

The states suing are Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin — all led by Democratic attorneys general.

The states specifically asked the court to immediately halt what they said is a "leave mail behind" policy that required postal trucks to leave at certain times, regardless of whether mail was loaded, the wire service also reports.

The states also asked for all election mail to be treated as first-class mail, for the replacement of necessary sorting machines that had been removed, and for the postal service to abide by DeJoy's commitment to suspend the changes until after the Nov. 3 election.

DeJoy said in August that he would halt many of the cost-cutting changes he put in place until after the presidential election, after Democrats accused him of trying to help President Trump in November. 

An unprecedented number of U.S. voters are expected to cast mail-in ballots this year, as a result of the coronavirus that has limited Americans from going to such public gathering places as polling stations.


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