COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details


NAACP v. United States Postal Service


NAACP v. United States Postal Service, No. 1:20-cv-02295 (D.D.C.)

  Case Summary USPS enacted operational changes in July 2020 that reduced postal service worker hours, forbade overtime, and directed mail-carriers to leave mail behind under certain circumstances. Plaintiff NAACP claims that USPS (1) implemented these changes without the statutorily required notice and comment, and (2) that these changes--which delayed delivery of essential mail, especially medicines, to certain NAACP members--did not take into account the statutory mandate to give highest consideration to the timely delivery of letter mail. Plaintiff further claims that these changes will delay delivery of election mail if still in place in November. Plaintiff NAACP brings suit on behalf of itself and its members--who rely on the mail for delivery of essential packages and plan to rely on the mail to vote in the upcoming elections. Plaintiff seeks (1) declarations that the USPS's actions were unlawful, and (2) injunctions halting operational changes and reinstating past USPS practices.
Filed 08/20/2020
State District Columbia
Type of Court Federal
Circuit D.C. Circuit
Status Active
Last Updated 03/13/2021
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (US Postal Service, Other Vote-by-Mail Issue, Other Vote-by-Mail Issue)
Ultra vires action by USPS violating 39 U.S.C. § 3661 requiring notice and comment on changes to some USPS operations
Ultra vires action whereby USPS implemented operational changes without giving "highest consideration” to the “delivery of important letter mail” as required by 39 U.S.C. § 101(e)
Complaint(s) 08/20/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 10/10/2020: Order/Ruling, The court enjoined the USPS's implementation of the policy changes announced earlier in the year that would reduce hours, remove mail-sorting machines, and deprioritize election mail.
10/27/2020: Order/Ruling, The federal district court for the District of Columbia ordered the USPS to inform personnel that late and extra trips are permitted, reversing several limitations it had previously placed on mail collection and delivery. The court also ordered the USPS to provide daily updates of its on-time delivery rates.
11/01/2020: Order/Ruling, Judge Emmett Sullivan issued an order with several directives for the USPS with respect to election mail. These special processing instructions include the use of express mail for election mail and daily certifications to the judge that they have expedited the ballots.
11/03/2020: Order/Ruling, Judge Sullivan, following his receipt of USPS election mail statistics, ordered that the USPS sweep its facilities to discover and mail out delayed ballots in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona.
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