U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, primarily known recently for his handling of the Michael Flynn case, issued an order mid-day Tuesday, directing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to sweep its processing facilities from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Election Day, to ensure that delivery of ballots is not delayed.
BREAKING: U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan orders USPS to sweep facilities for remaining mail ballots and immediately send them for delivery pic.twitter.com/pBvJRmzcqi
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) November 3, 2020
Tuesday’s order comes as part of ongoing litigation before Judge Sullivan in which the plaintiffs—groups of voters and advocacy groups–argued that delays in the mail system could threaten accurate election results, particularly in the 28 states that do not accept votes that arrive after Election Day. Prior to Judge Sullivan’s rulings in the case, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy had taken steps to cut hours from postal staff. Later, those steps were prohibited as a series of court orders took effect.
USPS personnel had been instructed “to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for Election Mail,” and to send the court daily updates on the number of trips and on-time deliveries. Judge Sullivan also ordered a daily check-in via videoconference, the result of which was a new order on Election Day.
The order applies to postal facilities in “Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona.”
Postal inspectors were required to file a status update by 4:30 p.m. EST on Election Day, certifying compliance with the judge’s order and indicating that no ballots were left behind.
Reactions to Judge Sullivan’s “common sense order” have been swift and strong.
Judge Sullivan issues entirely common sense order and I’m sure Republicans are freaking out about it. https://t.co/zT2tAu12GH
— Joe Patrice (@JosephPatrice) November 3, 2020
Federal judge Emmet Sullivan just ordered a sweep of all USPS to ensure no ballots are left behind.
The man is singlehandedly restoring faith in the judiciary.
Should a SCOTUS spot open up, I’d like to see Sullivan on the short list.https://t.co/T69lo8ArSl
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) November 3, 2020
Judge Sullivan is the judiciary’s rock star and has been for the past few years. https://t.co/XG7EJLQUSG
— AdaminChicago (@AdaminChicago) November 3, 2020
[Image via U.S. District Court for District of Columbia]
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