William Perry Pendley is president and chief legal officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation and has litigated against the United States at the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal courts of appeal. A former Marine officer, Capitol Hill lawyer, and Reagan Administration official, Pendley is author of War on the West: Government Tyranny on America’s Great Frontier and It Takes A Hero: The Grassroots Battle Against Environmental Oppression. Born and raised in Wyoming, he currently lives in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
His historic victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña and his passionate advocacy of sensible environmental policies that include people have made him a sought-after speaker on the two most controversial issues of the day.
Pendley earned a B.A. and an M.A. degree in Public Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. He returned to Wyoming to earn a J.D. degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he served as Senior Editor of the Land and Water Law Review.
Returning to Washington, D.C., Pendley was an attorney to a U.S. Senator, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Navy. As a high ranking official in President Reagan’s Department of the Interior, he managed several agencies and authored two historic documents signed by the President. For five years he practiced law in the Washington, D.C. area.
Pendley’s wife Lis, is also an attorney in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Their son Perry, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his wife Blair, a veterinarian, live in North Carolina; their son Luke is an actor, writer, and film student in New York City.