Professors Martin and Titolo to Publish New Scholarship on USPS

West Virginia College of Law Professors Jena Martin and Matthew Titolo recently posted new scholarship to SSRN. The article, The United States Postal Service: The One Word that Makes all the Difference, will appear in the Texas Law Review later this year. Professors Martin and Titolo were also featured on The Conversation to discuss related topics on October 22, 2020: Mail delays, the election and the future of the US Postal Service: 5 questions answered.

From the abstract:

In recent months, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has taken center stage on a number of intersecting issues in our society: the pandemic; the upcoming election (through mail-in voting) and the controversy surrounding the appointment of Louis DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General. President Donald Trump has frequently made derogatory remarks regarding the Postal Service, calling it a “joke,” and has made repeated statements encouraging its privatization. However, President Trump’s rhetoric (as well as the rhetoric of others before him) obfuscates the critical mission of the USPS – to provide service to every American in the country; not simply through its Universal Service Obligation but through other particularly public functions that are largely unique to this agency. This essay unmasks this rhetoric and argues that privatization is not a good fit for USPS. Through an examination of both the debates of privatization and the implications of becoming a profit-making business, we show how these goals are misaligned with the central mission of the Postal Service. Americans rely on USPS for a number of essential functions that it would be impossible to carry out on a for-profit basis. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the key public mission of USPS to serve all Americans.