Link to Opinion of the Court.
The Court declares that the Lewistown RMP, Missoula RMP, and Miles City RMP amendment are unlawful and must be set aside under 5 U.S.C. § 3348(d)(1) and 5 U.S.C. §706(2)(A)
(RMP stands for Resource Management Plan)
After previously giving William Perry Pendley the iron boot from illegally directing the Bureau of Land Management, the Judge has now invalidated three plans illegally enacted at the behest of Pendley that related to the Plaintiff State of Montana. The Judge denied relief in other States as beyond his Article III Jurisdiction, but indicated that other States could take up litigation to overturn Pendley’s actions in their respective State jurisdiction.
Simply put, the RMP’s would have open up most BLM land in Montana to oil and gas leasing and mining. The court decision slams the door on that.
Seems like appeals higher up the ladder are imminent.
Might even see this case make it all the way up to the Supreme Court one day.
By the time this gets to the Supreme Court, the Biden administration will be in place and will have withdrawn any appeal.
Your presidential prediction is noted. But assume for a minute the Trump administration is re-elected, how do you see the appeal process ultimately deciding?
I believe the Supreme Court will adhere to the plain text of the Vacancy Reform Act of 1998 and uphold the judgement of the District Court. In the alternative, they simply may decline to consider the case. The text of the Act is plain and the Supreme Court has little wiggle room
Is it not logical to try again when an appointment ultimately goes through the Senate?
IF Trump wins. IF.
Trump would need to get off his ass and nominate somebody that the Senate will accept. The Republican Senate refused to confirm Pendley and Trump has not come forward with a new nominee. Until he gets a Senate confirmed appointee in place, it will be pretty much impossible for any new BLM rule to hold up in court. And a nominee that is acceptable to the Senate might be somebody less inclined to be friendly to oil and gas interests.
So even if he is reelected and gets a nominee through the Senate, he is not guaranteed a duplication of what Pendley tried to do.
Good…the law applies to both sides of the aisle. Now…if “we” could just get the broken second half fixed?