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Judge Rules that Changes made by Postmaster General DeJoy before 2020 election harmed US Postal Service

October 6, 2022
DeJoy headshot

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A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled Thursday that changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy made to the US Postal Service before the 2020 election hurt mail delivery, and has put in place orders to prevent DeJoy from doing the same again.

The decision, in a years-old lawsuit from Democratic-led state and local governments, is largely a response to mail across the country not being delivered on time at higher rates than normal in 2020. New York state and New York City, Hawaii, New Jersey and San Francisco-area governments argued that the slow-down impacted their ability to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, by impeding people from having a reliable alternative to in-person voting.

In mid-2020, the USPS cut back on the number of mail sorting machines it used, and also hindered the ability of workers to make extra postal trips that would result in them being paid for overtime. The changes – which Democratic politicians heavily criticized at the time because they dovetailed with then-President Donald Trump’s vocal opposition to mail-in balloting during the election – hurt on-time mail delivery.

DeJoy had made the changes without consulting the regulatory agency that oversees the post office first, Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in his 65-page opinion Thursday.

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