Federal judge issues restraining order on state mask mandate ban


A Federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order regarding the state law banning mask mandates in local school districts, cities and counties, and the Iowa City Community School District plans to enact a mask mandate at their meeting tonight.

Judge Robert Pratt noted that stopping a state law is an “extreme remedy,” but said his ruling was warranted given the possible irreparable harm COVID-19 can do to students. In his ruling, Pratt called out the faulty science behind the Republican Party’s anti-mandate bill.

In a release from the Iowa City School Board, they plan to discuss and review the options available. In the meantime, the release strongly encourages all students and staff to wear a mask to school today as they anticipate enacting a mask mandate for all individuals in school buildings.

Governor Kim Reynolds issued a statement after the ruling, saying the decision “ignored the decision by our elected legislature and took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child. “ She goes on to say that the state will appeal the decision, and, quote, “defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our constitution.”

Des Moines Public Schools has already issued a mask mandate. It’s expected that other school districts will follow suit; there’s no word if the University of Iowa will issue a mandate.