The Obama administration was dealt a minor setback on Thursday when a local judge denied its attempts to legally continue a moratorium on deepwater drilling as the issue continues to be litigated in court.
The same judge who ruled this week that the administration's temporary ban was illegal denied the Justice Department's attempt for a "stay" on the ban Thursday morning.
The administration had hoped that by upholding a stay, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman would have given it time to re-craft the language of the moratorium, which Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has pledged to do. With the stay request denied, those 33 deepwater wells that had put a stop to their operations can now legally begin drilling again.
Earlier on Thursday, the Justice Department relayed that Salazar had instructed all employees to not take any action to enforce the moratorium.
That said, don't expect deepwater drilling activity to start up in haste. An administration official tells the Huffington Post that they will be requesting another stay from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals -- the same court where the Department of Justice has appealed the initial ruling on the moratorium.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place