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Politics DeJoy Tells Judge Mail-Sorting Machines Can’t Be Reassembled

20:41  24 september  2020
20:41  24 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told a judge the U.S. Postal Service can’t reassemble the hundreds of high speed mail-sorting machines that were taken apart this year, a project that more than a dozen states allege was intended to undermine the upcoming election.

A nationwide injunction issued last week in Yakima, Washington, should be amended to acknowledge that the machines can’t be put back together, DeJoy and the USPS said in a filing in the case on Wednesday. The machines, dismantled under a DeJoy initiative, were stripped for parts to improve or repair other machines, they said.

Empty trucks, falsified records, late mail: How Louis DeJoy's changes at the Postal Service brought chaos

  Empty trucks, falsified records, late mail: How Louis DeJoy's changes at the Postal Service brought chaos New rules requiring U.S. Postal Service trucks to leave exactly on schedule went relatively unnoticed amid the public outcry over the removal of sorting machines across the country — but they were far more disruptive to mail delivery.So in July he ordered drivers to start leaving post offices and distribution centers exactly on schedule and curtailed extra trips to pick up any mail that missed earlier cutoffs.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Trump Says He’d Support Probe of DeJoy Campaign Donations © Bloomberg Trump Says He’d Support Probe of DeJoy Campaign Donations

Louis DeJoy

Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg

“It is therefore not possible to return such machines to service,” the USPS and DeJoy, a major Republican donor, said in the filing.

The Sept. 17 injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian, requires the USPS to reverse disruptive operational changes implemented by DeJoy, including restrictions on overtime and changes to the handling of election mail, such as absentee ballots applications. The order was sought by a group of Democratic state attorneys general who have sued the postal service.

'A politically motivated attack': Federal judge says he'll block USPS changes after mail delays

  'A politically motivated attack': Federal judge says he'll block USPS changes after mail delays Judge Stanley Bastian found the agency was "involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency" which would "irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election.” Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. During a court hearing, Bastian said he would be issuing a nationwide injunction against the USPS. The scope of the injunction was not immediately clear, with the judge saying he would provide more detail in the written order to be issued later Thursday or on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Bastian has yet to rule on DeJoy’s request to amend the injunction.

A second injunction was issued against the USPS this week in a suit brought by voters in federal court in Manhattan. Another group of states is seeking a third nationwide injunction on DeJoy’s changes in federal court in Pennsylvania, where arguments took place on Thursday. At that hearing, lawyers for the USPS said delays are being reversed and claimed states were exaggerating the impact of the changes.

Read More: Judge Blasts DeJoy’s ‘Intentional’ Bid to Disrupt Election

In his Sept. 17 ruling, Bastian blasted the USPS changes, saying it was “easy to conclude” that DeJoy’s effort was intended to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election. The judge noted that 72% of the decommissioned high speed mail-sorting machines were located in counties where Hillary Clinton got the most votes in 2016.

The fight over the USPS changes is part of a broader clash between Republicans and Democrats over an expected surge in voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the increased use of mail-in ballots will lead to a massive fraud and a “rigged” election.

The USPS has said it’s prepared for the election and repeatedly denied that the operational changes instituted in July were intended to help Trump.

(Updates with arguments over a third potential injunction.)

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Trump's campaign has a massive door-knocking operation. Biden's is just getting started. Will it matter? .
The candidates' treatment of the coronavirus pandemic has shaped how both of their campaigns are reaching out to voters.The president's campaign is betting that even during a pandemic, face to face voter contact will give Trump an edge. But the Biden  is making a different calculation.

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