PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro went to federal court on Wednesday morning, trying to permanently stop changes at the U.S. Postal Service that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered last summer.
Pennsylvania was among the states who sued to halt the new policies that Shapiro and others argued at the time would delay postal delivery and disenfranchise voters by failing to deliver mail-in ballots on time and undermining confidence in voting by mail.
District Judge Gerald McHugh is one of several federal judges who issued preliminary injunctions last year, halting DeJoy's controversial changes.
"The effect was getting mail delivered on time and postal workers simply being able to do their jobs," Shapiro said.
Now, Shapiro is arguing to make the injunction permanent.
"We went to court and successfully stopped the changes that slowed down our mail, and now we are here to finish that job," he said.
Attorneys from Shapiro’s office argued that the policy changes —including truck and carrier schedules that could not be adjusted to make sure no mail got left behind — should be permanently halted because they led to long delays in mail delivery.
DeJoy has said changes are necessary to keep the post office afloat financially.
Shapiro says timely mail delivery is not merely a convenience but, for many people, crucial to their health.
"Eighty percent of the prescriptions the Veterans Administration sends out are by mail," he said.
Attorneys for DeJoy argued that there were problems with the roll-out but the policies had not caused delays.
DeJoy meanwhile has proposed new cost-cutting policies, including operating fewer post offices, with shorter hours, which even DeJoy admits will slow down delivery.
It’s not clear when McHugh will rule, but the temporary injunction is still in effect.