District Judge Stanley Bastian of Yakima, Washington, said he has issued a nationwide ruling in 14 cases against U.S. President Donald Trump, Postal Director Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service against changes in business institution adopted in July.
The 14 states, led by Washington state, have filed a motion for a preliminary ruling asking the court to immediately stop a “leave behind” policy, which requires mail trucks to leave at certain hours, regardless of whether it was uploaded correspondence.
States also called for all election correspondence to be treated as first-class correspondence, for the replacement of necessary sorting machines that had been removed, and for the postal service to honor DeJoy’s commitment to suspend the changes until after the Nov. 3 election.
DeJoy, a Trump supporter, said in August he would stop many of the cost-cutting changes he implemented until after the presidential election after Democrats accused him of trying to help Trump. , which he denied.
Due to the ccoronavirus pandemic, an increase in the number of ballots sent by mail is expected.
“States have shown that the defendants are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the postal service,” the judge said after about two and a half hours of arguments, which Reuters heard over the phone.
“They have also shown that this attack on the postal service could irreparably affect the ability of states to administer the 2020 general election.”
The judge said the preliminary measure would be issued essentially at the request of the states.
U.S. Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer said that as the agency explores legal options, it is “ready and committed to handling any volume of election mail it receives.”
“Our number one priority is to deliver election mail on time,” Partenheimer said.
In addition to Washington, the states involved in this process include Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Similar lawsuits filed by states are underway in Pennsylvania and New York.
“Today’s victory protects an institution of major importance for our country. Americans can now vote with confidence in the mail and make their voices heard, “said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson after the judge’s ruling.