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Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts

Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts
© Reuters/Pool

A judge in Washington, D.C., sided with several states on Sunday and ordered the Postal Service to halt operational changes put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyFBI investigating political fundraising of former employees of Postmaster General DeJoy Postal Service raises stamps to 58 cents as part of restructuring plan Lawmakers request investigation into Postal Service's covert operations program MORE that have been blamed for mail delivery delays around the country.

The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan found in a 39-page opinion that DeJoy's changes at the Postal Service were likely related to President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE and other Republicans' efforts to halt the expansion of mail-in voting ahead of the November election.

Sullivan is the third judge to make such a ruling.

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In his order, Sullivan wrote that it was a clear public health interest to find safe, alternative means for voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to health officials advising Americans to avoid large public gatherings, particularly indoors.

“It is clearly in the public interest to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, to ensure safe alternatives to in-person voting, and to require that the USPS comply with the law,” read the judge's opinion, according to the Post.

The lawsuit, brought in late August by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) as well as the attorneys general of Hawaii, New Jersey, and the district attorneys of New York City and San Francisco, argued that DeJoy's changes were made without first consulting the Postal Regulatory Commission, a federal agency that oversees the service.

“This USPS slowdown is nothing more than a voter suppression tactic,” James said at the time it was filed. “Yet, this time, these authoritarian actions are not only jeopardizing our democracy and fundamental right to vote, but the immediate health and financial well-being of Americans across the nation."