A South Dakota federal judge has forbidden fireworks to be shown over Mount Rushmore in order to celebrate Independence Day.
South Dakota Governor Kristin Noem initially requested a permit for a fireworks show and was denied by President Joe Biden’s administration due to “COVID-19.”
“Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event,” said Herbert Frost, National Park Service regional director, when the denial was issued. “In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial. These factors, compiled with the COVID-19 pandemic, do not allow safe and responsible fireworks display to be held at this site.”
Noem then sued to appeal. Shortly after, U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange issued a hefty 36-page denial letter, forbidding the fireworks show. .
“This Court fully understands the State's position and why this suit was brought,” Lange’s wrote. “But under governing law, the State is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims and has not met the requirements for interim legal relief.”
Noem is expected to repeal this denial as well.
"I am disappointed that the court gave cover to this unlawful action with today’s decision. But rest assured, this fight is not over," the Governor said. "My legal team will appeal this incorrect decision 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.”
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