BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is suing the Trump administration to block the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from continuing in the position unless he’s been confirmed by the Senate.

Bullock said Monday that federal law prohibits William Perry Pendley from leading the agency while his nomination by President Donald Trump last month is pending.

The bureau is a branch of the Interior Department that oversees nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the West.

Administration officials called the lawsuit “nonsense” and say Pendley was never formally named acting director even though he was exercising that authority.

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