MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today issued the following statement regarding a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Montana that enjoins William Perry Pendley from exercising authority as the director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
“Today’s ruling is a win for the Constitution, the rule of law, and our public lands,” said Governor Bullock. “Montanans can rest easy knowing that National Public Lands Day will begin with William Perry Pendley packing his desk and vacating the Director’s Office at the Bureau of Land Management.”
In today’s decision, the Court 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asking for expedited review of the case as William Perry Pendley remained acting director even after his nomination was withdrawn, in direct contravention to the United States Constitution and Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
The decision is attached.