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Noem Lawyers Studying Fireworks Lawsuit Rejection Following Court Loss

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Mount Rushmore

Governor Kristi Noem says her lawyers are digesting a recent ruling by a federal court judge. It rejects her lawsuit to allow fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

Noem says the state will appeal the decision.

Governor Noem says the National Park Service arbitrarily and unlawfully denied the state’s permit to hold the event this year. She says that’s a violation of a memorandum of agreement the state had with the Department of Interior.

She’s tying in the Biden Administration, accusing it of making a political decision.

“It’s unlawful what they’re doing,” Noem says. “We’re going to continue to challenge it in court. I’m hopeful we will get a court that sees taking these kinds of decisions and using them to retaliate against a state for political reasons—and arbitrary reasons—is not acceptable.”

The agreement between the state and Department of Interior is that they would work toward bringing back the fireworks starting in 2020. The park service did allow fireworks at Mount Rushmore last year after prohibiting them for more than a decade.

Section 20 of the special use permit signed between the state and park service was for 2020 and did not include an automatic renewal of the event in the future.

The state has hired a Washington DC law firm, Consovoy McCarthy, to help with the fireworks lawsuit. The state is paying a $600 hourly rate for the legal services with a cap of $150,000

Governor Noem hopes to reinstate the fireworks celebration by next year.