“Two watchdog groups said they’ll sue the Interior Department if Secretary David Bernhardt keeps in place the acting director authority for two leaders at the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. Bernhardt earlier this month extended the tenures of several of the department’s acting leaders through May 5, including William Perry Pendley at BLM and David Vela at the NPS.
But on Tuesday, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Western Watersheds Project issued a notice of intent to sue that argues the secretary’s orders violate both the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the appointments clause of the Constitution. The groups point to a recent federal judge’s ruling that Trump’s appointment of Ken Cuccinelli as acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director violated the FVRA. “If you take any action effective after May 5th to rename Mr. Pendley and Mr. Vela or anyone else who is not eligible under the FVRA to be the acting Directors of those two bureaus, then PEER and the WWP will promptly sue you and them,” the groups said in the notice.”