Letitia James Puts Postmaster Louis DeJoy On Public Notice

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New York state Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading a new effort to push back against the damaging so-called leadership of the United States Postal Service by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. As part of a coalition of other state attorney generals, James is now “calling on the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s proposal to cut services,” as a press release from her office explains. As James put it on Twitter, she and her allies are “fighting back” against DeJoy.

After months on end of lagging delivery times and overall chaos at the postal service, DeJoy has proposed a new set of guidelines to (among other changes) officially slow down the delivery speeds of certain pieces of mail for the supposed sake of cutting costs — although cost efficiency is not exactly poised to be a legitimately leading principle for the postal service. Instead, mail delivery is a critical public service, facilitating a whole host of important processes, from the receiving of medications by veterans to the submission of mail-in ballots.

On the occasion of the submission of what’s called a statement of position to the Postal Regulatory Commission, James commented as follows:

‘For nearly a year now, we have had to fight the United States Postal Service tooth and nail to fulfill its mission and provide timely delivery of mail, medications, paychecks, ballots, and other essentials to Americans across the nation. Now, instead of fixing the problems that remain delinquent a year later, Postmaster General DeJoy wants to lead the USPS in making further service cuts that would only result in more delays. The Postal Regulatory Commission should reject these changes and direct the USPS to take action to resume USPS service to what it once was. If they don’t, we will not hesitate to use every tool at our disposal to hold the USPS accountable.’

James’s reference to utilizing “every tool” available suggests that, in the event that DeJoy’s proposals are allowed to stand, she’d be prepared to file a court challenge against the measures. As the press release from James’s office observes, implementing DeJoy’s proposed changes to the operation of the postal service “would prevent New York and the federal government from delivering essential services in a timely manner, including providing public assistance to low-income individuals and families, running driver’s licensing and child welfare programs, and administering elections.”

DeJoy has faced steep criticism for his reckless handling of the postal service, but he’s not under the direct authority of the president. Rather, the board of governors at the postal service is responsible for hiring — and firing — the postmaster general, and at present, that board has only three Biden appointees among a total of nine members. The rest are Trump appointees.