Watchdog Organizations Challenge Public Lands Agencies’ Leadership Appointments in Court

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“Public employees and environmental groups recently filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s appointments for two of the nation’s largest public lands management agencies. In addition to the legal and constitutional complaints, advocates also worry about agency mishandling of parks and public lands as the rural outdoor recreation and tourism economy swings into high season during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These appointments are outrages, not nominations,” said Peter Jenkins, senior counsel at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), an organization that represents public-sector workers in complaints against the agencies that employ them and one of the bringing forward the lawsuit. “Legally, President Trump hasn’t done what he could to fulfill his Constitutional mandate of ‘advice and consent’ from the Senate, and his greatest interest seems to be in defunding and dismantling what he keeps calling the ‘deep state.””

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