Friday, October 02, 2020

Interior secretary to lead Bureau of Land Management for now; Trump administration may appeal Pendley's ouster

The Interior Department will not name a new acting director for the Bureau of Land Management "after its leader was ousted by a federal judge, top officials told employees in an email obtained by The Hill. Instead the job will be left to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt," Rebecca Beitsch reports

A federal judge in Montana ruled Friday that the BLM's controversial acting director, William Perry Pendley, had served unlawfully for 424 days. "The decision was in response to a suit from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who argued Pendley, whose nomination to lead the BLM was pulled by the White House last month, was illegally serving in his role through a series of temporary orders," Beitsch reports.

"The president cannot shelter unconstitutional 'temporary' appointments for the duration of his presidency through a matryoshka doll of delegated authorities," wrote Judge Brian Morris in a 34-page ruling.

An Interior Department spokesperson said an appeal is planned but did not give a timeline, Kirk Siegler reports for NPR.

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