Iowa judge gives green light to school mask mandates

An Iowa judge has stopped a law defending the rights of parents to unmask their kids from taking effect, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.

The federal ruling marks a setback in a nationwide battle that has cut both ways. Just days before, a similar law banning mask mandates in schools was upheld in Florida.

“Irreparable harm”

Parents of disabled children sued over the Iowa law, enacted in May, saying it disadvantaged their children.

Judge Robert Pratt, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, issued a halt, saying the plaintiffs showed a ban on mask mandates would result in “irreparable harm.”

“Because Plaintiffs have shown that Iowa Code section 280.31’s ban on mask mandates in schools substantially increases their risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 and that due to their various medical conditions they are at an increased risk of severe illness or death, Plaintiffs have demonstrated that an irreparable harm exists,” the judge wrote, according to the Examiner.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision “a huge victory for parents of children with disabilities.”

Nevertheless, the coronavirus poses a trivial threat to children. The likelihood of serious illness or death from the disease in minors is extremely rare, as Nature magazine notes.

Wins and losses for freedom

After the judge’s ruling, Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she would “appeal and exercise every legal option we have to uphold state law and defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our constitution,” according to the Examiner.

Parents all across the nation have been fighting with petty tyrants on local school boards to unmask their kids. Republican officials have issued statewide bans on mask mandates that have had varying degrees of success in court.

A Florida judge on Friday upheld a ban signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has become a rhetorical punching bag of President Joe Biden, just days after it was suspended. DeSantis has cut off funding to school districts that defy the ban, as Axios notes.

Meanwhile, Biden has threatened to get Republicans who support the rights of parents, such as DeSantis, “out of the way,” and the Department of Education has opened civil rights investigations into states that are imposing restrictions on masking, Politico reports.

In an apparent act of political retribution, the Biden administration is now said to be curtailing the supply of COVID-19 antibody treatments to red states.

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