Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has had a highly eventful summer. The U.S. Postal Service was already facing challenges, but conditions took a radical turn when the Republican mega-donor began implementing "reforms" that slowed mail service -- just in time for voters to rely on the USPS in the upcoming election.
As regular readers know, DeJoy's changes were not well received. Many members of Congress want DeJoy to resign. Some want him to face an FBI investigation. It was against this backdrop that the postmaster general, exactly one month ago today, announced that he would suspend operational changes until after the November presidential elections.
Several states were skeptical about the former RNC official's assurances, so they proceeded with litigation -- which was the right call, as anecdotal evidence piled up that suggested DeJoy was not, in fact, following through on his promises.
As Rachel noted on last night's show, we're now seeing the initial result of that lawsuit. The Associated Press reported overnight:
A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them "a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service" before the November election. Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the ruling was the degree to which the judge slammed DeJoy and his team. After hearing from both sides, Bastian concluded not only that USPS leaders were "involved in a politically motivated attack," but also that the postmaster general's changes created "a substantial possibility many voters will be disenfranchised."
With this in mind, the federal court "ordered the Postal Service to stop implementing the 'leave behind' policy, to treat all election mail as first class mail rather than as slower-moving categories, to reinstall any mail processing machines needed to ensure the prompt handling of election mail, and to inform its employees about the requirements of his injunction."
It's not yet clear if DeJoy and his team will appeal to the 9th Circuit. Watch this space.