HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that Pennsylvania will be one of several states to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its attempts to change USPS ahead of the election.
According to Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office, the changes include limiting the length of shifts and pushing some deliveries off to other days, thus leading to mail and packages being delivered at a slower rate.
“We will be taking action to reinstate Postal Service standards that all Americans depend on, whether it’s for delivering their prescription drugs or for carrying their very right to vote,” said Shapiro in a press release. “Recent post office changes have been implemented recklessly, before checking the law, and we will use our authority to stop them and help ensure that every eligible ballot is counted.”
“Voting is safe. We have been doing this for centuries,” Shapiro said in response to President Trump’s claims of potential fraud that could be caused by mail-in voting. “There’s no reason to think that (postal workers) would let us down.”
Shapiro also said that the Trump administration’s actions are “illegal” and that the changes should have been submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission first for approval.
“The actions of the administration impede Pennsylvanians’ ability to conduct our own fee and fair election,” Shapiro said. “It is a right and an authority granted to us by the U.S. Constitution, and I will not let this administration stand in the way of having Pennsylvanians have their voices heard and their votes counted.”
Beyond election concerns, Shapiro cited the fact that many veterans and seniors in Pennsylvania depend on USPS to mail them their prescriptions. If the mail flow were to be delayed as a result of the changes, this could impact the healthcare of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, Shapiro’s Office said.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that he is willing to work with any other Attorney Generals on this lawsuit. Shapiro made the announcement along with Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The lawsuit will be filed within the next 24 to 38 hours in the Eastern District, according to Shapiro.
California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina will reportedly also file their own similar lawsuits.
Just has Attorney General Shapiro filed a suit, Postmaster General DeJoy backed down, saying there will be no more cuts. But it’s not clear that will quell the uproar over the mail.
With the country in the throes of a pandemic and facing a major election, there are reports the postal service is being dismantled. Mailboxes removed, cuts in overtime as parcels pile up and the elimination of sorting machines.
Leaders like Tim Stevens of the Black Political Empowerment Project are calling on Congress to restore funding and ensure reliable service.
“To make sure that every citizen, to make sure that every individual has the opportunity to vote without any inhibitions, without any structure to prevent people from voting or to discourage people from voting,” he said.
Postmaster General DeJoy has prescribed a major overhaul of the postal service citing massive debt and poor service, but critics charge he’s been making the situation worse. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said he personally found several inoperable sorting machines in his state and today the postal service would neither confirm or deny the claim of one anonymous worker that four machines have been dismantled here at the Northside processing facility.
But today, bowing to pressure, DeJoy said he would “suspend” his initiatives until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”
In a statement, DeJoy said:
- Retail hours at Post Offices will not change.
- Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are.
- No mail processing facilities will be closed.
- And overtime will continue to be approved as needed.