Noem’s lawyers sue Biden administration, seeking permit for Mt. Rushmore fireworks

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem is putting South Dakota taxpayers back on the hook in her drive for more fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

The Republican governor’s office announced Friday she is suing Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration because the National Park Service hasn’t issued a permit for a show during the July 4 holiday period.

Noem’s legal team filed the suit, along with lawyers from a Washington, D.C.-area law firm, Consovoy McCarthy. Their expenses will be paid from state government’s extraordinary litigation fund, according to Ian Fury, the governor’s communications director.

The state Department of Tourism contracted last summer with the National Park Service for a July 3 fireworks show that Republican President Donald Trump attended as he ran for re-election. State government paid the park service $470,000 as part of approximately $1.5 million in expenses. Tourism officials estimated South Dakota received $20 million of publicity.

Noem isn’t using Republican Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to sue President Biden. The governor has pushed for Ravnsborg’s resignation. He faces misdemeanor charges for running over and killing pedestrian Joe Boever the night of September 12, 2020, at the west edge of Highmore.

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