Photo: Department of Interior

A federal judge on Friday ordered that William Pendley be removed from his acting role as head of the Bureau of Land Management, saying he served unlawfully in the position for 424 days, per AP.

Driving the news: U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said the former oil industry attorney acted illegally in the role without Senate confirmation, as required.

  • Earlier this year, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) sued to remove Pendley, arguing he was illegally overseeing the agency.
  • Though Pendley's nomination was withdrawn in early September, he continued to oversee the agency based on an "unusual arrangement" he orchestrated, AP writes.

The big picture: The Trump administration has tried to avoid the the confirmation process for multiple positions, instead filling the seats with temporary appointments.

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Sep 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Sen. Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

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