U.S. Postal Service Defies Court Order To Find Missing Ballots

The United States Postal Service has been court-ordered to do a “sweep” for 300k missing mail-in ballots. They’ve refused.

Louis DeJoy is Postmaster General.
[Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images]

Can the USPS just decline to follow an order from a federal judge? That’s the question sweeping the nation as election day comes to a close. The Washington Post has reported that the order from U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District of Columbia required the USPS to do a sweep of facilities in 12 postal districts in 15 states, by 3:30 pm.

Instead, the agency’s attorneys sent back a response over an hour after the deadline, refusing to comply, saying they couldn’t follow the order “without significantly disrupting preexisting activities” and suggesting that the court couldn’t possibly have meant for that to happen.

Attorneys, legal experts, and voters alike expressed shock that an entity could expect to get away with flatly refusing to comply with a Federal order, especially at the expense of voting rights.

The U.S. Postal Service has already been viewed as complicit in preventing voters from accessing their constitutional right to cast a ballot, to such an extent that Louis DeJoy, a Republican Party fundraiser turned Postmaster General, was called before a House committee earlier this year to testify about his role in slowing down the mail, removing sorting machines, and otherwise changing the postal service in ways that affect the timely delivery of mail, including election ballots.

He was previously asked about restoring the mail sorting machines that were removed, and said that it couldn’t be done, because they’d already been stripped for parts.

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