Altho not mentioned in either the news article or press release below, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has a substantial financial interest in United Parcel Service, one of the U.S.P.S.’s direct competitors.
Federal judge faults Postmaster General DeJoy in mail delays
DAVID SHARP and MATTHEW DALY
Fri, October 7, 2022 at 4:30 PM·2 min read
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has set limits on one of the U.S. Postal Service’s cost-cutting practices that contributed to a worrisome slowdown of mail deliveries ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan concluded that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s actions delayed mail deliveries and that he acted without obtaining an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission.
DeJoy restricted overtime payments for postal workers and stopped the agency’s longtime practice of allowing late and extra truck deliveries in the summer of 2020. The moves reduced costs but meant some mail was left behind to be delivered the following day.
Those delays and the removal of many mail-sorting machines were among actions that led New York and several other states to sue — claiming the actions amounted to voter suppression. DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor and political ally of former President Donald Trump, eventually halted some of his operational changes “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat who is running for re-election, said Friday that the Postal Service actions “made a mockery of the right to vote.”
The Postal Service disagreed with any assertion that the agency dragged its feet, pointing out that 99.89% of 2020 ballots were delivered to election officials within seven days. Performance further improved in last year’s election, the agency said.
“Any suggestion that the Postal Service or anyone in Postal Service leadership, up to and including the postmaster general, at any point in time was not fully committed to supporting our democratic process is inconsistent with the facts and our performance,” the agency said in a statement.
The judge’s ruling was released Thursday, a day before the Postal Service announced plans to increase prices in 2023. The proposal unveiled Friday would increase the cost of a forever stamp from 60 to 63 cents.
The Postal Service Board of Governors, a majority of whom are now appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden, has made no move to replace DeJoy despite calls to do so by Democrats, a postal workers union and other critics.
Sullivan, in his ruling, said that the biggest impact on the delayed mail deliveries was the elimination of those extra delivery trips to homes and businesses.
The judge ruled that the Postal Service cannot prohibit or curtail such trips if service standards dip below a certain level.
Sharp reported from Portland, Maine.
Attorney General James Stops Efforts to Dismantle the U.S. Postal Service
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision permanently stopping Postmaster General Louis DeJoy from taking certain measures that would degrade mail service and further undermine the United States Postal Service (USPS).
“After he assumed leadership in June 2020, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pushed through drastic changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s operations that slowed mail operations nationwide, harmed everyday Americans, and made a mockery of the right to vote. No one can act with impunity, and today the rule of law prevailed. My office will continue to defend New Yorkers — and Americans — against actions that slow essential services and threaten the integrity of our democracy.”
In August 2020, Attorney General James led the attorneys general of Hawaii and New Jersey, as well as the city of New York and the city and county of San Francisco in filing a lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration’s attempts to dismantle USPS. The lawsuit argued that significant changes to USPS operations under DeJoy’s leadership substantially impacted USPS mail service in New York and nationwide and posed a threat to the integrity of the November 2020 presidential election. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the court granted a preliminary injunction which immediately halted the Trump Administration’s attempts to disrupt USPS operations.
This matter was handled by former Assistant Attorney General Daniela Nogueira, former Special Counsel Morenike Fajana, former Senior Counsel Joseph Wardenski, and former Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives Matthew Colangelo — all of the Executive Division; Assistant Attorney General Lindsay McKenzie and former Deputy Bureau Chief Elena Goldstein — both of the Civil Rights Bureau; Senior Counsel Michael Myers and Assistant Attorneys General Joshua Tallent and Laura Mirman-Heslin — all of the Environmental Protection Bureau; and Special Counsel Eric Haren of the Division for Appeals and Opinions. The Civil Rights Bureau and the Environmental Protection Bureau are part of the Division for Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux. Both the Executive Division and the Division for Social Justice are overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.