AG Ferguson won’t drop USPS lawsuit despite Postmaster General halting changes

Aug 18, 2020, 11:38 AM
USPS, Postal service...
A few dozen people gather in front of a post office in Michigan to protest recent changes to the USPS. (Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News via AP)
(Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News via AP)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson plans to move forward with a lawsuit over a series of operational changes enacted by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), despite Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announcing he would be halting many of the planned shifts he had enacted in recent weeks.

Ferguson ‘considering all legal options’ to fight Trump changes to USPS

Recent cuts to the USPS by Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy included the elimination of overtime, decommissioning mail sorting machines, removing mailboxes, and no longer treating election mail as first-class mail, regardless of postage paid.

Ferguson accuses DeJoy of acting on behalf of President Trump to compromise the delivery mail-in ballots in November’s presidential election, which the president has erroneously claimed would lead to widespread voter fraud.

“For partisan gain, President Trump is attempting to destroy a critical institution that is essential for millions of Americans,” Ferguson said. “We rely on the Postal Service for our Social Security benefits, prescriptions — and exercising our right to vote. Our coalition will fight to protect the Postal Service and uphold the rule of law in federal court.”

Ferguson’s lawsuit seeks to end all of the reductions enacted by DeJoy, which have also included plans to halt the processing of outgoing mail at three out of five Washington USPS distribution centers in Wenatchee, Yakima, and Tacoma.

Washington state is leading the multi-state lawsuit, joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Sec. of State Wyman: Trump war against vote-by-mail ‘a dangerous path’

Shortly after Ferguson announced the lawsuit, DeJoy issued a statement saying that he would be suspending many of his planned changes to the USPS until after the November election, assuring the public that “mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are,” that mail processing facilities will no longer be closed, and that overtime for postal workers will be “approved as needed.”

It’s unclear, though, whether he plans to replace mailboxes and mail sorting machines already decommissioned in the last few weeks, or if election mail will again be treated as first-class with proper postage.

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AG Ferguson won’t drop USPS lawsuit despite Postmaster General halting changes