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


New York v. Trump


New York v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-02340 (D.D.C.)

  Case Summary Plaintiffs NY, HI, NJ, NYC, San Francisco bring suit against Trump, DeJoy, and USPS based on USPS policy changes leading to delays in the mail. Policy changes include 1) removing collection boxes and sorting machines, 2) cutting overtime 3) prohibiting late and extra trips 4) a pilot program in nearly 400 localities which disrupted the mail 5) no longer automatically treating election mail as first class mail. These changes led to a letter sent by the agency to 46 states indicating that timely delivery of mail in ballots in the November 3rd election could not be guaranteed. USPS’s delays disrupt the states’ ability to conduct elections and engage in other functions. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that Secretary Mnuchin has attempted on multiple occasions to exert improper influence over the USPS at the same time that President Trump has been disparaging vote by mail. The states allege harms to sovereign, quasi-sovereign, economic, and proprietary interests including the ability to administer their elections and conduct other government functions. Under the Postal Reorganization Act and the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, USPS is required to meet certain mail delivery standards and is further required to seek an advisory opinion requiring a hearing and opportunity for comment from the Postal Regulatory Commission prior to instituting any changes which impact national service. Three claims are asserted 1) violation of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act by failing to follow the procedural requirements before instituting changes 2) violation of the Postal Reorganization Act by failing to satisfy the mail standards for delivery under the act due to changes 3) violations of the States' rights under the elections elector clause by undermining the States' ability to regulate elections.
Filed 08/25/2020
State District Columbia
Type of Court Federal
Circuit D.C. Circuit
Status Closed ()
Last Updated 10/22/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (US Postal Service)
Authority To Act (Elections Clause)
Complaint(s) 08/25/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 09/27/2020: Order/Ruling, The court granted Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction regarding their Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act claim. The Court reasoned that Plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits by presenting evidence showing that Defendant's changes at the Postal Service had a meaningful impact on service, constituting a violation of Section 3661(b) in light of Defendant's failure to submit the new policy to the Postal Regulatory Commission. Further, the Court held that absent an injunction, Plaintiffs had demonstrated the likelihood of irreparable harm in their ability to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to provide safe alternatives to in-person voting.
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