USPS’ stamp price increase halted by federal appeals court

USPS’ stamp price increase halted by federal appeals court

A federal appeals court in Washington has thrown out a 5-cent increase to the price of a first class “Forever Stamp” along with other adjustments made in January to the price of first-class mail.

A non-practicing lawyer Douglas Carlson, who says he is a lifelong postal enthusiast, filed an objection in December and pursued the case on his own.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday that a postal commission failed to provide an adequate explanation for the increase from 50 to 55 cents and failed to respond to public comments challenging the increase.

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman says the service is reviewing the decision and considering its legal options. Spokesman David Partenheimer confirmed in an email that at this time customers will still be charged the new January rates for first-class mail, including 55 cents for a Forever Stamp.

“Although the 5-cent stamp price hike may have gone unnoticed by many, the American Revolution was fomented in part by ordinary people who objected to taxation through stamps,” U.S. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote in a unanimous 26-page rebuke to an increase adopted in January. The court ruled that the increase was arbitrary and capricious.

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