by Scott McClallen
Michigan has joined a coalition of states that will be filing a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government over recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) operations.
The lawsuit argues that the changes proposed and already implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are illegal and threaten the timely mail delivery.
Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said that under federal law, USPS operational changes affecting nationwide mail service must first be submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission and receive public comment.
“General DeJoy never engaged in that process here,” the lawsuit states. “As a matter of substance, these changes will have a wide range of negative consequences that violate a diverse array of federal laws, from harming individuals with disabilities in violation of the Rehabilitation Act to disenfranchising voters in violation of the Constitution.”
The coalition asks the court to compel USPS to submit a proposal requesting an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting USPS from implementing operational changes until it has the commission’s advisory opinion.
“Recent actions taken by Mr. DeJoy are unlawful and indicate an attempt to disrupt and delay U.S. Postal Service operations,” Nessel said in a statement.
The lawsuit follows President Donald Trump’s criticism linking mail-in voting to voter fraud.
The lawsuit alleges DeJoy has made the following changes slowing mail delivery:
- Eliminating overtime for USPS employees;
- Instructing carriers to leave mail behind for the following day;
- Reducing operating hours;
- Removing mailboxes;
- Decommissioning sorting machines
However, it comes as DeJoy walked back those changes Tuesday.
DeJoy delayed the cost-saving initiatives until after the November election “to even avoid the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
“I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability,” DeJoy said in a statement. “I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.”
USPS has lost more than $78 billion since 2007.
In Michigan’s August election, 1.6 million votes were cast by mail, breaking the previous record for a statewide election.
According to the news release, the lawsuit will be filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington.
Michigan is joined in the suit by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.