Noem sues Biden administration for canceling Mount Rushmore Independence Day fireworks

National Parks Service notified South Dakota of decision to cancel fireworks display in March

Per Fox News:

EXCLUSIVE: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem sued the Biden administration on Friday after it canceled the Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, demanding the court "expeditiously" issue a permit for the event to take place.

Noem, a Republican, filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota Central Division.

"Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America’s birthday and all that makes our country special," Noem wrote. "After telling us they’d ‘circle back,’ the Biden Administration has not responded to our request to uphold the Memorandum Agreement between the State of South Dakota and the National Parks Service to host a safe and responsible national celebration and fireworks show."

Noem said the Biden administration has "departed from longstanding precedent and reneged on this agreement without any meaningful explanation."

"We are asking the court to enjoin the Department of Interior’s (DOI) denial of the fireworks permit and order it to issue a permit for the event expeditiously," she added.

Noem had asked President Biden to uphold a 2019 memorandum agreement between the National Parks Service and the state, which allowed the return of the fireworks event for 2020.

Last year, South Dakota hosted the fireworks display for the first time since 2009, after having been canceled due to wildfire risks.

The event included an appearance from former President Donald Trump, provoking criticism that the state disregarded guidance on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Noem, though, has argued that contact tracing was unable to track a single case of COVID-19 back to the event.

South Dakota was the only state in the nation never to impose a coronavirus mask mandate or to shut businesses.  

The National Parks Service (NPS) notified South Dakota of its decision to ban the fireworks display last month, citing concerns about COVID-19, tribal objections and alleged danger to the park itself.

NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote to South Dakota’s tourism office in March citing "potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration," saying that they "continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event." 

Frost added, "In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial."

Neither the White House nor the National Parks Service immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment on the lawsuit.

4 days, 4 hours ago

Virginia Democrats Voted to Allow Schools to Refrain from Reporting Sexual Battery in 2020

Virginia Democrats passed a law allowing schools to refrain from reporting instances of sexual battery, stalking, and other crimes occurring on school property in 2020

5 days ago

Sen. Tim Scott endorses McMaster in South Carolina governor's race

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott didn't endorse a primary candidate in South Carolina's 2018 gubernatorial race, but for 2022, he's offering an early nod to incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

6 days, 3 hours ago

Youngkin says education is top issue in Virginia governor race: 'Parents are absolutely angry'

Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday referred to education as the top issue in the state's election

6 days, 6 hours ago

Abbott Completely Bans Vaccine Mandates By Any Employer In Texas

"The Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates."

1 week ago

Gov’s campaign paid $87.5K more to ex-staffer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign paid an additional $87,500 over the past six months as part of a settlement with a former staff member who had accused her of sexual mistreatment during a 2018 meeting

1 week, 3 days ago

Arizona border just as ‘out of control’ as Texas, Gov. Doug Ducey warns

Border Patrol agents in western Arizona’s Yuma region have encountered 1,038% more suspected illegal immigrants year-over-year.