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Judge continues to prohibit Iowa enforcement of mask ban law

Judge continues to prohibit Iowa enforcement of mask ban law


Judge continues to prohibit Iowa enforcement of mask ban law

DES MOINES, Iowa — A federal judge Friday extended an order that will prevent state officials from enforcing a law that prohibits school districts from implementing mask requirements until a federal lawsuit challenging the law can be heard.

Judge Robert Pratt had earlier issued a temporary restraining order preventing Gov. Kim Reynolds and Department of Education Director Ann Lebo from enforcing the law Reynolds signed in May.

The order entered Friday issues a preliminary injunction that continues to prohibit the state from enforcing the law until the court case can be decided.

Lawyers for Reynolds and Lebo immediately filed notice of an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which could reverse Pratt's order or keep it in place.

Judge Pratt gained national attention last year when, during an interview with the Associated Press, he attacked former President Trump's decision to issue several pardons. He told the AP "It's not surprising a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals." Pratt then went on to say "But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey."

Those remarks caused Pratt to be the subject of a judicial misconduct complaint.

Pratt eventually issued an apology.