Federal court denies Noem's Mount Rushmore fireworks appeal

·1 min read

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in her lawsuit that attempted to overturn the National Park Service's denial of the state's application to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate 2021's Independence Day.

The Eighth Circuit of Appeals found that South Dakota's objections to the Park Service's decision were moot because it was in the past and the federal government was within its rights to deny the state from shooting off fireworks at the national memorial.

“Time machines aside, to now order the Park Service to reconsider its decision to deny a permit for an event more than a year in the past would be the very definition of ‘(in)effectual relief,'” Judge David Stras wrote in the court's opinion. “No matter what we decide, South Dakota cannot hold the event.”

The Republican governor, who has positioned herself for a 2021 White House bid, has used the fireworks celebration as a political rallying point. She hosted former President Donald Trump at the 2020 celebration.

The court’s decision left open the possibility of the Park Service allowing a pyrotechnic display in the future, and Noem has already applied for a permit for next year.

Stephen Groves, The Associated Press

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