The future of American democracy crosses the road.
The future of American democracy crosses the road. 400tmax/getty images

Washington’s wily Attorney General Bob Ferguson is stepping up efforts to make the mail run on time, with a new legal maneuver that could force the USPS to go back to the way things were (nationwide!) before Trump put mobster parody Louis DeJoy in charge of the joint. In technical legal terms, Ferguson's filed a “motion for preliminary injunction,” (ugh, boring) but in clickbait terms, it’s “FOUR Amazing Steps to FIX the Post Office for GOOD (Postmasters General HATE This!)” so let’s go with that.

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Ferguson, along with officials in 13 other states, has a whole lawsuit in the works to restore the USPS to working order, and this latest filing is just one small step in a process with a suuuuuper tight deadline. If they can pull it off, and actually get a court to agree with them, they just might save mail (and mail-in voting, and democracy, and the country, and the planet) as we know it. No pressure or anything.

Ferguson has proposed four immediate remedies that the court could enforce: Stop the new policy of leaving some mail behind, treat all election mail as First Class (like they always did in the past), replace the mail sorting machines, and force Louis DeJoy to do what he said he’d do when he promised Congress he’d suspend his recent policy changes until after the election.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the people running the country didn’t require a court order to force them to be honest? Oh well.

DeJoy initially said he would halt the changes he’s made so far; but in practice, the “leave mail behind” policy is still in place, and he’s since said that he plans to keep it that way until after the election. So that's why we need a court to be like, "Hey, do the thing you said you'd do."

(You can read the entire motion here if you're looking for a particularly potent sleep aid.)

So what’s next? A hearing on the motion is scheduled for September 17. We should get a better idea of just how likely it is to be granted after that hearing; and then a ruling on the motion will come … sometime??? … after that. Probably soon. Hopefully.

In the meantime, don't count on anything going the way it's supposed to; make a plan for how you're going to vote; know where your closest ballot drop-off box is; and if you need medication by mail, order it way in advance. Be prepared for the worst, and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen.

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If Bob’s successful, those four remedies would be implemented nationwide, potentially pulling the Postal Service from the brink of crisis with just weeks to spare before the election. To mangle the line that Oscar Wilde wrote for the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory screenplay, the suspense is terrible! I hope it does not last.

Oh also, just a little side note, Bob Ferguson is up for re-election in a few weeks, and his opponents are just the absolute woooooorst. I know Biden doesn’t thrill you a bit, but for heaven’s sake don’t sit this election out just because of that — the Washington AG race is one of the most important in the nation because of lawsuits like this. It would truly be a disaster if the “coronavirus is no big deal” Republican wins.

Sigh. America! What a dump.

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