“The decision was really arbitrary, that’s why we’ll be appealing this decision, and the fight isn’t over,” Noem said. “This is part of the radical left’s agenda. 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.”
Fireworks were reintroduced at the federal landmark for the first time since 2009 last year under Donald Trump, but the National Park Service (NPS) denied Noem’s permit request earlier this year, citing health reasons relating to coronavirus, wildfire risks, environmental concerns, and ongoing construction at the national monument, which is not set to be concluded by the Fourth of July.
Noem filed a suit challenging the NPS decision, with an appeals court ruling Wednesday that the state did not meet the requirements for a ruling in their favor.
“To shut it down at this point, saying that there could be COVID concerns, fire concerns, environmental concerns, is just not honest,” Noem said. “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.”
Noem believes the decision came down to her being a Republican.
“It’s all political and punitive, and it’s ridiculous,” Noem said. “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.”
Noem’s legal team plans to take up an appeal for next year’s Independence Day celebrations in 2022.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.