Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore last summer for the first time in more than a decade.
This year, however, the Biden administration is pulling the plug on a similar Independence Day spectacle.
Judge sides with Biden administration
A judge has subsequently upheld the federal government’s decision not to issue a permit for the fireworks display.
Former President Donald Trump reinstated the tradition last July, and Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem attempted to ensure a repeat performance next month. After filing a permit request with the National Park Service (NPS) earlier this year, however, she received a denial.
According to Fox News, the agency cited various reasons for its decision, including concerns about COVID-19 and the environment as well as ongoing construction in the area.
In a challenge to the federal government’s decision, the governor filed a lawsuit, which was recently shot down in court.
Noem addressed the situation during a Fox appearance on Thursday.
“Just not honest”
“This is part of the radical left’s agenda,” she declared. “They don’t want to celebrate America or our freedoms. They’re pushing critical race theory. They’re pushing the 1619 Project. And this is just another one of those battles to erase our true, honest, and patriotic history in this country.”
As for the excuses provided by the NPS, she dismissed them as disingenuous.
“To shut it down at this point, saying that there could be COVID concerns, fire concerns, environmental concerns, is just not honest,” Noem added. “We’ve addressed all their concerns. We had an agreement signed and then the National Park Service decided just not to issue us the permit. That’s why we went to court.”
The governor went on to insist that she intends to push forward with her objections, stating: “The fact that we have a judge that stood beside this political, arbitrary decision that came out of the Biden White House is unfortunate. But we do not quit. We keep fighting and this country is worth it.”
Federal Judge Roberto Lange’s referenced his belief that it would lead to further stoke political divisions, writing:
This country could use a good celebration of its foundational principles of democracy, liberty, and equal protection of law, after a pandemic that has disrupted society and business and has killed nearly 600,000 United States citizens to date, after an insurrection and physical incursion of the United States Capitol while Congress was convening to certify the outcome of the presidential election, and after this nation has become so sadly divided by the politicization of so many issues, likely to include even the outcome of this case.