Attorney General Phil Weiser announces major victory: Federal judge issues nationwide injunction blocking Postmaster General’s unlawful policies delaying mail
Sept. 17, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.) — A federal judge in Yakima, Wash., today granted Attorney General Phil Weiser’s request to grant a nationwide injunction forcing the U.S. Postal Service to immediately halt and reverse its drastic operational changes.
“I’m pleased that a federal judge has blocked the U.S. Postal Service leadership from continuing with the illegal operational and policy changes they have implemented nationwide that have slowed down the mail and have threatened to interfere with the 2020 election. These drastic changes have already caused real harm to Coloradans and their ability to do business or get their medication through the mail,” said Weiser. “Our democracy is at stake and people’s lives are at stake. We will monitor the Postal Service to make sure they are complying with the judge’s order. And we will continue to protect the mail service and defend our state’s ability to manage our safe and easy-to-use vote at home election system so that every vote is counted.”
Judge Stanley A. Bastian will issue a detailed written order later today. In its motion for a preliminary injunction, the coalition of states asked the judge to order the Postal Service to:
- Immediately stop its “leave mail behind” policy, where postal trucks are required to leave at specified times, regardless if there is mail still to be loaded;
- Continue its longstanding practice of treating all election mail as First-Class mail, regardless of the paid postage;
- Replace, reassemble, or reconnect any removed mail-sorting machines that are needed to ensure timely processing and delivery of election mail; and
- Abide by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s public commitment to suspend the recent policy changes that have affected mail service until after the election.
The judge said his order would substantially follow the state’s motion.
Weiser joined a coalition of 14 states led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson that filed a lawsuit over the changes to the Postal Service on Aug. 18. The Postal Service changes, including eliminating or reducing staff overtime, halting outgoing mail processing at state distribution centers, and removing critical mail sorting equipment, threaten the timely delivery of mail to millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service for everything from medical prescriptions to ballots.
The coalition filed their motion for a preliminary injunction, which Judge Bastian granted today, on Sept. 9.
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