Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A group of protestors hold a demonstration in front of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's home in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 16, 2020. (Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)

Mail-In Voters and Candidates Sue to Block 'Unconstitutional' Assault on Postal Service by Trump and DeJoy

"This isn't just an attack against the fabric of our democracy: it's a personal attack against each and every American citizen."

Jake Johnson

A group of voters from several states and candidates for public office in New York filed a federal lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy alleging that the pair's ongoing assault on the U.S. Postal Service unlawfully threatens Americans' right to vote amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Among the plaintiffs in the suit is Mondaire Jones, a progressive activist and attorney who won the Democratic primary for New York's 17th congressional district in June running on Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and tuition-free public college. In a series of tweets Monday, Jones wrote that "we've all watched in horror this week as Trump and DeJoy have been sabotaging the USPS: postal boxes ripped out, overtime halted, mail sorting machines destroyed."

"Like the existence of the USPS, our right to vote is enshrined in the Constitution. Trump does not have the authority to undermine our constitutional rights. That's why we've filed for an injunction to right this wrong before the General Election."
—Mondaire Jones

"Let's be real, we know why Trump is doing this: he's deliberately sabotaging the USPS to make it harder to vote by mail in the General Election. We know because he told us," Jones added. "This isn't just an attack against the fabric of our democracy: it's a personal attack against each and every American citizen. We need to take steps to make it easier to vote, not harder."

Filed in the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit (pdf) decries as "unconstitutional" efforts by Trump and DeJoy to "ensure USPS cannot reliably deliver election mail." The legal action comes as Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of the U.S. Congress are moving ahead with legislative action to end the Trump administration's sabotage of Postal Service operations.

"While President Trump himself is holding up necessary funding for the Post Office," the lawsuit says, "a flurry of steps taken by DeJoy all but guarantee that thousands upon thousands (if not millions) of ballots will simply not reach their destinations on time, will likely lack postmarks that are required by state law, and that the volume of election mail that is coming may be delayed for weeks."

As the Associated Press reported, "Besides candidates for political office, plaintiffs included individuals who say they must vote by mail because they fear traveling or because they worry about contracting the coronavirus."

"Those individuals included a Chicago resident who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant, a digital colorist for film and television who votes in California, an 85-year old Suffolk County, New York, voter at an assisted living facility, and Mary Winton Green, a 97-year old retired philanthropist and Cook County, Illinois voter who first voted in 1944," according to AP.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring Trump and DeJoy—a major Republican donor to the president—to "take all steps necessary and sufficient to ensure that the USPS is adequately funded so that it can... deliver all election mail (1) consistently with past practice, (2) in a manner that ensures absentee and other mail ballots are treated equal to in-person ballots, and (3) with sufficient staffing and overtime to handle a record level of mail voting."

The lawsuit also demands that the court "unwind the harm already caused by Defendants' actions and policies and... mitigate any harms that may flow from already accomplished harms."

"Like the existence of the USPS, our right to vote is enshrined in the Constitution," said Jones. "Trump does not have the authority to undermine our constitutional rights. That's why we've filed for an injunction to right this wrong before the General Election."

This article has been updated to clarify that voters involved in the lawsuit are from several states, not just New York.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·


To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo