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Judge denies Noem’s request in Mount Rushmore fireworks lawsuit

Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore after a decade hiatus in July of 2020.
Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore after a decade hiatus in July of 2020.(South Dakota Dept. of Tourism)
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A federal judge has ruled against South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem in a lawsuit over a Fourth of July fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.

In April, Gov. Noem sued the Biden administration over the cancellation of the Mount Rushmore Independence Day fireworks celebration. The National Parks Service stated the fireworks show would not happen this year because there are too many health and safety risks associated with it. The lawsuit from Noem asked the court to instruct the Department of Interior to change its decision on the fireworks permit and order them to quickly issue a new permit to get the event reinstated.

On Wednesday, the court denied Noem’s request.

“The United States would benefit immensely from greater unity in its efforts to continually form a more perfect union. So a national show of unity and celebration, such as a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore for Independence Day, is appealing. However, this Court is not called upon to determine whether such a fireworks display is a good idea,” Judge Roberto A. Lange stated in his ruling.

Gov. Noem responded to the lawsuit Thursday saying she will appeal.

“My legal team will appeal so that we can return the Fireworks Celebration to Mount Rushmore and celebrate our nation’s birthday at America’s Shrine to Democracy for next year and in the future.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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