(PoliticalLookout.com)- The controversy over the United States Postal Service is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Brian Frosh, the attorney general of Maryland, said Monday that more than a dozen states are planning to levy a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration over the cuts they’ve initiated at the USPS. The lawsuit, which could come this week, will seek to claim that the moves were made to delay mail-in ballots for the upcoming November General Election.
Roughly 15 to 20 attorneys general who are Democrats are currently reviewing their possible legal arguments. Frosh said that once completed, the states could either join together to file one lawsuit, or many lawsuits could be filed.
“We are talking with other AG offices and expecting to take action soon,” he said.
Trump has long claimed that mail-in ballots could result in a rigged election that’s fraught with counterfeit ballots. Just last week, he said he was against including funds for the USPS and general infrastructure for elections in potential upcoming coronavirus relief bills – specifically because he wants to limit the number of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some estimates predict there could be twice as many mail-in ballots this year as there were in 2016 because of people’s fears of voting in crowded sites.
Liberals have lambasted changes at the USPS, including restrictions on extra transportation trips, new policies for both mail delivery and sorting that could slow the delivery of medicines as well as ballots, and significant reductions in employee overtime.
On Monday, though, Trump denied that he was trying to undermine the election by hampering the USPS’ ability to properly manage mail-in election ballots. He said:
“No, we’re not tampering. We want to make it run for less money, much better, always taking care of our postal workers.”
One Republican attorney general, Dave Yost of Ohio, has formally requested that the Trump administration delay the USPS operational changes until after the elections on November 3. In a letter, he wrote:
“[The USPS is a] perennial drain on the Treasury. But making the radical changes only weeks before early voting begins – however fiscally well founded – would place the solvency of the Post Office above the legitimacy of the government itself.”
Frosh said six sorting machines had been pulled in Maryland, four from one location in Baltimore City, where Democrats historically have a stronghold.
William Tong, the attorney general of Connecticut, drew an analogy to the Trump administration’s changes to the USPS. He said it would be unconstitutional for the government to physically bar voters from casting their vote, or to block the roads and sidewalks to polling locations to prevent people from going there. He continued:
“So, too, it’s illegal to intentionally defund the postal service or dismantle close to 700 mail sorting machines in big cities across the country or to remove blue mail boxes, which we’ve heard about.”
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, said she would sue over the USPS cutbacks, saying Trump’s attempts to “interfere” are an “authoritarian power grab.”