On Wednesday, Federal Judge Roberto A. Lange ruled against Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) in her suit to allow a fireworks display to take place on July 3, Rae Yost with KELO-TV reported.
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. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/SOMHmw6RrS— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 2, 2021
Judge Lange in his decision, included in Yost's report, lays out the five reasons why the National Park Service denied Noem's request to hold the fireworks display once more this year. One reason involved coronavirus concerns, though the judge acknowledged that if that was the sole reason, the court may have remanded the NPS' decision. As Yost laid out when it comes to the other reasons:
The other four reasons for rejection were sound, according to Lange’s ruling.
Those reasons were concerns about eroding relationships with indigenous tribal groups, environmental and wildfire risks, disruption of enjoyment but the public as a whole at Mount Rushmore and disruption of construction at the Memorial.
The lawsuit also said by granting the fireworks permit in 2020, the NPS changed a policy so it should grant a permit in 2021. Lange said that granting a permit in 2020 after several years of denying permits did not qualify as a change in policy.
Kristi Noem also tweeted about the disappointing ruling from her personal account.
Under @JoeBiden gas prices are sky high and fireworks are grounded.— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) June 2, 2021
But rest assured, this fight is not over - I will appeal so that the Fireworks Celebration can return to Mount Rushmore and we will once again celebrate our nation’s birthday at America’s Shrine to Democracy for next year and in the future.— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) June 2, 2021
Last year's display was the first time the fireworks had taken place since 2009. Then-President Donald Trump was in attendance for the display, where he also gave a particularly memorable and rousing speech.