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Judge Ousts Pendley as Head of BLM; Could Invalidate Some Decisions

“Court order could call into question not only BLM decisions but others across the administration”

“An order by the chief judge of the Montana federal court on Friday not only ousted William Perry Pendley as the top official at the Bureau of Land Management but might also invalidate a wide range of decisions he took to open up vast parts of the American west to oil and gas drilling.

Pendley has been effectively serving as BLM’s acting director even though President Trump never sent his name to the Senate for confirmation, Judge Brian Morris said in his order. The judge gave the Interior Department and the plaintiffs in the case 10 days to submit examples of actions Pendley took that might be set aside.

Morris’s order could also call into question decisions made by officials in similar positions across the administration, which has not nominated people to fill 133 of the more than 750 key positions that require Senate confirmation. Many of the people carrying out those responsibilities may now be challenged for doing so in violation of a law about filling federal vacancies.”

Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post September 26, 2020.


“Judge Removes Trump Public Lands Boss For Serving Unlawfully” (AP)

“Trump's Public Lands Chief Axed After Court Rules He Was Serving Unlawfully” (Guardian)