Governor Noem sues Biden Administration over Mount Rushmore fireworks

PIERRE, SD(Press Release) – Today, Governor Kristi Noem filed a lawsuit against officials in the Biden administration over their cancellation of the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota Central Division.

“Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America’s birthday and all that makes our country special,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “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.

“Unfortunately, the new administration departed from precedent and reneged on this agreement without any meaningful explanation,” continued Noem. “We are asking the court to enjoin the Department of Interior’s (DOI) denial of the fireworks permit and order it to issue a permit for the event expeditiously.”

Previously, Governor Noem asked President Biden to uphold the Memorandum of Agreement between NPS and the State of South Dakota regarding the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration. Governor Noem responded to NPS’s reasons for cancelling the fireworks celebration. She also outlined the due diligence that the State of South Dakota and other entities undertook to ensure that last year’s celebration could be conducted safely and responsibly. You can read Governor Noem’s letter to President Biden here.

America’s Founding Fathers knew that Independence Day should be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one [e]nd of this Continent to the other,” as stated by John Adams on July 3, 1776. And President Calvin Coolidge declared that Mount Rushmore was designed to be “a national shrine to which future generations will repair to declare their continuing allegiance to independence [and] self-government.”

Last year’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration was held safely and responsibly and had a huge positive impact on the South Dakota economy. You can find materials such as photographs and video of the 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration here.

You can read the filed complaint here.