Judge grants Nessel’s request to halt USPS changes

    A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) worker wears a mask and gloves while delivering mail near a Food Bank distribution for those in need, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, on April 9, 2020. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

    A federal judge in Yakima, Wash., granted a request from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and a number of other states for a nationwide injunction that would force the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to immediately halt drastic operational changes.  

    In a motion for a preliminary injunction, the coalition of states asked Judge Stanley A. Bastian to order USPS to immediately stop its “leave mail behind” policy in which postal trucks are required to leave at specified times, regardless if there is mail still to be loaded. 

    The AGs also asked for USPS to continue its longstanding practice of treating all election mail as First Class mail; replace, reassemble or reconnect any removed mail-sorting machines that are needed to ensure timely processing and delivery of election mail; and abide by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s public commitment to suspend the recent policy changes that have affected mail service until after the election. 

    Michigan joins AGs in suing Trump admin. over postal changes

    The judge said his order would substantially follow the coalition’s motion.  

    “Today’s decision is a significant step toward ensuring our upcoming elections are not tainted by the political motivations of Postmaster General DeJoy,” Nessel said. “I am pleased with the Court’s decision and will work with my colleagues to make sure the U.S. Postal Service follows through on the Court’s orders and that other agencies and individuals do not take actions to compromise the security of our elections.” 

    Michigan, along with Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin filed a lawsuit in August against the federal government over recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) operations while preparing for the potential impacts those changes could have on the November general election. 

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.