Maryland joining other states in suing U.S. Postal Service

Posted at 1:14 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 07:22:09-04

BALTIMORE — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that Maryland is joining a multistate coalition in suing the U.S. Postal Service.

The federal lawsuit is challenging drastic operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that threaten critical mail delivery and could undermine the national election in November.

“Trump attacks on the postal service are designed to disrupt the election. They strike at the core of our democracy,” said Attorney General Frosh. “That is bad enough, but Trump and DeJoy are also hurting innocent bystanders: Americans who are waiting for their medicine or their social security checks. This conduct is harmful, illegal and unconstitutional. We are filing suit to stop it.”

The states’ lawsuit will assert that the Postal Service implemented these drastic changes to mail service nationwide unlawfully, and seeks to stop the agency’s service reductions.

The changes at the Postal Service come as President Donald Trump has continued to claim that widespread vote-by-mail will lead to a fraudulent election.

The attorneys general assert that the Postal Service has acted outside of its authority to implement changes to the postal system and did not follow the proper procedures under federal law.

The states’ lawsuit seeks to block the unlawful service reductions and operational changes at the Postal Service.

In addition to Maryland, the suit was joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Shortly after the lawsuits were announced, USPS Post General Louis DeJoy released a statement, saying any newly scheduled post office reforms of concern will be suspended, until after the election. DeJoy says most of the needed changes stem from years old problems.

The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall. Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards. The American public should know that this is our number one priority between now and election day. The 630,000 dedicated women and men of the Postal Service are committed, ready and proud to meet this sacred duty.
I am announcing today the expansion of our current leadership taskforce on election mail to enhance our ongoing work and partnership with state and local election officials in jurisdictions throughout the country. Leaders of our postal unions and management associations have committed to joining this taskforce to ensure strong coordination throughout our organization. Because of the unprecedented demands of the 2020 election, this taskforce will help ensure that election officials and voters are well informed and fully supported by the Postal Service.
I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election. In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.
I want to assure all Americans of the following:
  • Retail hours at Post Offices will not change.
  • Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are.
  • No mail processing facilities will be closed.
  • And we reassert that overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.
In addition, effective Oct. 1, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand.