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South Dakota governor sues for fireworks at Mount Rushmore

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PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has filed a lawsuit against officials in President Biden's administration over the cancellation of the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration.

The Republican governor successfully pushed last year for a return of the pyrotechnic display after a decade-long hiatus. But the state’s application to hold fireworks this year was denied by the National Park Service, which cited safety concerns and objections from local Native American tribes.

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

Noem’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for South Dakota, argues that the decision to deny the permit application was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the powers granted to the agency in the U.S. Constitution.

Through this lawsuit, South Dakota is asking the court to reinstate the firework permit so the event can be hosted this summer like it was last year.

The filed complaint against the Biden administration can be read here.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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Dean Welte

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