US judge blocks Postal Service changes that slowed mail

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Mailboxes in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. The Postmaster general announced Tuesday he is halting some operational changes to mail delivery that critics warned were causing widespread delays and could disrupt voting in the November election. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he would “suspend” his initiatives until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.” (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

SEATTLE (AP) – A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide. The judge called them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction as sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.

The states challenged the Postal Service’s so-called “leave mail behind” policy, by which trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time whether or not there is more mail to load. They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as First Class mail.

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