Montana Judge Enjoins BLM’s Top Official from Exercising Authority


The Chief U.S. District judge in Montana has removed the Bureau of Land Management’s Director, William Perry Pendley, from exercising any authority as the department’s top official.

According to a press release from Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Chief District Judge Brain Morris decision declared that William Perry Pendley served unlawfully as the acting director of the BLM for 424 days. The Court enjoined William Perry Pendley from exercising authority of BLM Director, barring William Perry Pendley from continuing to serve as the acting director of the Bureau.

Additionally, the Court enjoined Interior Secretary David Bernhardt from unlawfully delegating the authority of the BLM director.

On July 20, Governor Bullock filed a lawsuit to enjoin William Perry Pendley from continuing to exercise the authority of acting director at BLM in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution’s Appointments Clause requires that the President nominate, and that the Senate confirm, the heads of significant federal agencies—a process that the Supreme Court has referred to as a “critical structural safeguard” of our democracy.

On August 20, Governor Bullock filed a motion for summary judgement asking for expedited review of the case as William Perry Pendley remained acting director even after his nomination was withdrawn, in direct contravention to the United States Constitution and Federal Vacancies Reform Act.



Northern Ag Network – 2020

MT Governor Steve Bullock 

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