As the United States Postal Services begs taxpayers for a bailout to fund its money-losing operations, the First Liberty Institute is reminding Americans that USPS cancelled its profitable customized-stamp program in order to stifle religious messages.
First Liberty sued USPS in December 2019 on behalf of Susan Fletcher, a citizen who said that the agency’s 2017 regulation that prohibited “any” religious “depiction” on personalized stamps was unconstitutional, according to a press release.
Recognizing that it was fighting a losing battle against the clear protections of the First Amendment, USPS in June discontinued the program that let customers design their own stamps. It was one of few services that USPS operated that generated a profit.
FLI’s President, CEO, and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford called USPS’s actions “hypocrisy at its worst.”
“It is outrageous that the U.S. Postal Service would end a steady source of revenue that raised millions of dollars just because someone might choose a religious image on a stamp,” she said.
“Now, the USPS has the nerve to demand a taxpayer bailout, rather than celebrate the principles of free, diverse speech and the free market,” she added.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed legislation to grant USPS a $25 billion bailout, but the Republican-controlled Senate has so far refused to act on the bill.
President Donald Trump said he will sign legislation to bail out USPS as long as the money does not help facilitate mail-in voting.
Shackelford said Congress and the president should reject the bailout no matter what USPS puts the money toward.
“Americans should reject the USPS’ audacity to now insist that taxpayers reward them for walking away from millions of dollars instead of doing the right thing and embracing free speech on postage stamps,” she said.