New York state Attorney General Letitia James has announced that she’s taking President Donald Trump’s administration to court over recent policy and operations changes at the Postal Service that have slowed down mail delivery across the country. Besides the fact that the general election is fast approaching, and mail slowdowns could impact the ability of Postal and election authorities to effectively handle mail-in ballots, folks rely on the mail for other crucial supplies like medications, which haven’t been exempt from the service delays.
In a statement posted to Twitter, James explained:
‘I just filed a lawsuit to stop President Trump from undermining the USPS and the November presidential election. These authoritarian actions are not only jeopardizing our democracy but the immediate health and financial well-being of Americans across the nation. These disruptions are already having life-threatening impacts on veterans and seniors who aren’t getting their medication, economic impacts on individuals waiting for their pensions and paychecks, and could significantly undermine the USPS‘s ability to handle mail-in ballots.’
She added that the “slowdown is nothing more than a voter suppression tactic,” and insisted that the state “will do everything in our power to put a stop to the president’s power grab and ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot come November.”
This slowdown is nothing more than a voter suppression tactic, and we will do everything in our power to put a stop to the president's power grab and ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot come November.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) August 25, 2020
James’s lawsuit has the backing of the states of Hawaii and New Jersey and the cities of New York City and San Francisco. An array of other states have latched on as backers to two other recent lawsuits challenging the policy changes at the Postal Service. The state of California, for instance, is a co-plantiff in a suit helmed by the state of Pennsylvania. Those behind the New York-led suit insist that their case “challenges the U.S. Postal Service’s abrupt policy changes as beyond the agency’s authority under both federal law and the Constitution,” adding:
‘Under the comprehensive statutory scheme governing the agency, the U.S. Postal Service was required to seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission prior to undertaking new nationwide policies… and give the highest consideration to the timely, efficient processing and delivery of important letter mail to the entire population of the United States.’
Under the leadership of the Trump-allied Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Postal Service failed to “seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission” and has also failed to prioritize “timely” and “efficient” mail delivery to the country as a whole, James’s lawsuit notes. The line of argument is similar to the points that have been raised in the other two state-coalition lawsuits over the Postal Service issues. James’s lawsuit adds that the Postal Service policy changes “also interfere with states’ constitutional duty to administer their own elections.” After all, mail-in ballots could be significantly delayed.
President Trump has spent awhile winding himself up with conspiracy theories about mail-in ballots, which he baselessly claims are full of fraud. In reality, comprehensive security measures are in place to protect the mail-in voting process — Trump might just be paranoid about losing if Americans get the chance to truly have their voices be heard.