The Trump Administration has repeatedly violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act by delegating authority to lower-level political appointees to “exercise the authority of” the Directors of its major bureaus, such as the National Park Service and BLM, without obtaining the Senate’s confirmation for them required under law. These appointees manage more than 450 million acres of our national parks, wildlife refuges and rangelands, covering almost one-sixth of the nation’s land area. They manage tens of thousands of Interior staff and oversee key regulatory functions. PEER has challenged – and will continue to challenge – these detours around the “advice and consent” of the Senate required under Article 2 of the Constitution.
Bernhardt’s Bad Actors
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) now has eight improperly-designated quasi-“acting” officials in charge of most of its major bureaus. These political appointees who manage DOI lack the “advice and consent” of the Senate that is required to fully serve in their positions under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution and under Federal statutes. They control vast expanses – over 450 million acres – of the public’s frequently-visited National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and Bureau of Land Management lands, amounting to almost one-fifth of the nation’s land area. Read More >