PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The state Bureau of Administration has reversed itself and granted a permit to an anti-vaccination group that plans a protest at the South Dakota Capitol on Monday and Tuesday during the Legislature’s special sessions, a lawyer for the group said Friday.
State government’s decision made unnecessary a hearing that U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange had scheduled for Friday morning to consider whether to grant a temporary restraining order.
Alan Gura, an attorney for the Institute for Free Speech, told KELOLAND News that the lawsuit filed by Blue State Refugees against bureau officials and Governor Kristi Noem would continue.
The bureau had cited the annual Christmas-trees display as the reason that groups aren’t allowed to hold events at the Capitol during November and December. The lawsuit seeks a change in that policy. Gura said talks are continuing.
“We resolved the issue whether the protest will take place next week,” Gura said. “The lawsuit is not dismissed. It’s going forward.”
The Noem administration’s change of position came the same day that South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg joined at least 10 other states in a lawsuit against U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration over its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for businesses employing more than 100 people.
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