17 state Attorneys General join Gov. Noem’s Mount Rushmore lawsuit

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Kansas, along with 16 other state Attorneys General, have joined Governor Kristi Noem’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The brief filed in the U.S. District Court for South Dakota asks the court to block the federal agency’s decision to deny a permit for Fourth of July fireworks at Mount Rushmore and order the agency to issue a new one.

Friday night Gov. Noem retweeted Schmidt’s release saying “Derek Schmidt and 16 other Attorneys General are helping us fight the Biden Administration’s arbitrary and unlawful decision to block our Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration.”

In a release, Attorney General Schmidt said, “…In rejecting South Dakota’s permit, the Department of the Interior offered only the flimsiest of rationales, unsupported by any evidence or reasoned explanation.”

The announcement comes just hours after a federal judge ruled that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe may join Gov. Noem’s lawsuit to intervene. Chairman Harold Frazier told KELOLAND News Friday that the Tribe is misrepresented in the lawsuit as they were not consulted about the Fourth of July fireworks for 2021.

Noem’s lawsuit came after the National Park Service did not issue a permit for a July 4 fireworks show.

A 2020 environmental study showed concerns of wildfire risk, impact to water quality, and structural concerns of the monument.

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