This lawsuit challenges some of the controversial and well-publicized changes to the operation of the Postal Service implemented by U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. In July 2020, the Postal Service instituted a set of policies that have collectively been referred to as the “Leave Mail Behind” policy. Among other things, the policy directs letter carriers – contrary to the training that they have traditionally received – to leave for their routes on time and to make just one trip, even if it means leaving mail behind.
A group of 14 states, led by Washington, went to federal court to challenge the policy, which they contend was introduced for political, rather than business, reasons. They argued that the policy, along with a decision by USPS to no longer treat election mail as first-class mail, has caused delays in delivery and postmarking that could disenfranchise voters. Before making these kinds of changes, they alleged, USPS should have asked the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency that has the power to review the USPS’ policies and performance, to weigh in.
On September 20, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian issued an order that temporarily blocks USPS from implementing the changes outlined in the July 2020 policy and requires USPS to treat election mail as first-class mail. Bastian explained that even if it is “not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement.” To support this conclusion, Bastian pointed to the president’s “highly partisan words and tweets, the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots, and recent attempts and lawsuits by the Republican National Committee and President Trump’s campaign to stop the States’ efforts to bypass the Postal Service by utilizing ballot drop boxes, as well as the timing of the changes.” And his order must apply nationwide, Bastian reasoned, because it is “easy to envision situations where the mail needs to cross state lines, for example, residents who are residing out of state and want to send in an absentee ballot.”
|Date||Proceedings and Orders|
|August 18, 2020||Initial complaint for injunctive relief filed by Washington and 13 other states in district court|
|September 15, 2020||Opposition to motion for preliminary injunction filed by Department of Justice|
|September 17, 2020||Nationwide injunction issued by district court|
|September 23, 2020||Motion to clarify preliminary injunction filed by Department of Justice|
|October 2, 2020||District court order granting in part motion to clarify preliminary injunction|
Just in: The next Supreme Court opinion day will be next Monday. The court expects to release one or more opinions in argued cases from the current term.
End of an era: Here is NBC News prez Noah Oppenheim's memo about Pete Williams' plan to retire this summer
The Supreme Court sides with Sen. Ted Cruz in his First Amendment challenge to a federal campaign-finance law that limits how and when candidates can recoup loans that they make to their own campaigns. The vote is 6-3 along ideological lines.
In an immigration case, SCOTUS rules 5-4 that federal courts do NOT have jurisdiction to review certain executive-branch factual findings that determine whether non-citizens are eligible for "adjustment of status." Those findings can dictate whether a person is deported.
SCOTUS agrees to take up two new cases: Jones v. Hendrix (a habeas corpus case) and SEC v. Cochran (a case about the power of district courts to hear challenges to the constitutionality of the SEC's administrative law proceedings). Full order list here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/051622zor_hgcj.pdf
We're live now on SCOTUSblog's homepage or at https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/05/announcement-of-orders-and-opinions-for-monday-may-16/
Today at SCOTUS: The court will issue one or more opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. EDT. But first, orders on pending petitions at 9:30. We'll fire up our live blog at 9:25 to break it all down and answer your questions. Grab some ☕️ and come join us: https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/05/announcement-of-orders-and-opinions-for-monday-may-16/