At least when I go to federal court, I do it to protect our First Amendment rights. Governor Kristi Noem just sues Uncle Sam over fireworks so she can shoot B-roll for her Presidential campaign… and now she has seventeen state Attorneys General getting in bed with her attention ploy:
A federal judge has ruled to allow the Attorneys General of 17 states to join in support of Governor Kristi Noem’s lawsuit against the federal government, filed after the National Park Service (NPS) rejected her permit for July 4 fireworks at Mount Rushmore.
…The amicus curiae brief was led by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Now approved, the list of Attorneys General which have joined, along with Schmidt, in support of Noem are as follows:
- Steve Marshall, Alabama
- Mark Brnovich, Arizona
- Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas
- Christopher Carr, Georgia
- Theodore Rokita, Indiana
- Daniel Cameron, Kentucky
- Jeff Landry, Louisiana
- Lynn Fitch, Mississippi
- Eric Schmitt, Missouri
- Austin Knudsen, Montana
- Douglas Peterson, Nebraska
- Dave Yost, Ohio
- Mike Hunter, Oklahoma
- Herbert Slatery, Tennessee
- Ken Paxton, Texas
- Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia [Jacob Newton, “Here Comes the Cavalry: Governor Kristi Noem Gets Out-of-State Help in Rushmore Fireworks Lawsuit,” KELO-TV, 2021.05.24]
Note that these seventeen attorneys general are helping while South Dakota’s killer A.G. Jason Ravnsborg is not, since Noem recognizes that having a lawyer who can’t cinch up his own necktie, not to mention a public official who killed a man while reading political blogs behind the wheel, wouldn’t look good in the campaign clips. But while Noem isn’t availing herself of her own AG’s legally prescribed services, she is happily spending state tax dollars to support her campaign:
The growing case comes with an accompanying tangle of attorneys. Representing the State of South Dakota and Governor Noem are Katie Hruska and Mark Miller, both state employees, as well as Brian Weir and Jeffrey Harris of the Virginia based law firm Consovoy McCarthy.
KELOLAND News has made a request to the Governor’s Office for the amount which the attorneys from Consovoy and McCarthy are being paid by the state. A final fee has not been determined, but according to an email from Noem’s communications director Ian Fury, “there is a contract with the law firm for hourly rates of $600 for partners and $450 for associates. The contract has a cap of $150,000.” Fury says the funds will be paid from the Extraordinary Litigation Fund, which has a budget of $301,973 [Newton, 2021.05.24].
Wow—as much as Governor Noem and her allies tell us they don’t want out-of-staters interfering in our politics, she sure likes having their help in her political campaign.
Adding to the smell of hypokristi in the morning is the rationale the seventeen Republican attorneys general give for sticking their noses in this Rushmore fireworks business. These Republican AGs complain to the court that the National Park Service and the Department of Interior denied Noem’s request to shoot firecrackers on federal property with “any evidence or reasoned explanation.” They accuse Interior of “erratic decision-making.” Such complaints are hilarious and ignorable, given the erratic and evidenceless nature of management we got for four years from the last guy Noem and her friends put in the White House. The only people ignoring evidence in this lawsuit are the plaintiffs who want us to believe that shooting fireworks in a dry national forest is a good idea.
In addition to granting amicus status to these Republican pilers-on, Judge Roberto Lange has also allowed the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to intervene on defense, since the tribe holds the Black Hills sacred and since the tribe contends Noem and her daughter are lying about consultations held with the tribes prior to the application for this year’s Rushmore fireworks. But hey, Kristi let some Indians hang around her fort in Pierre last Thursday and dance on her yard, so the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will probably back off now, right?