Good News, Everyone! 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Iowa Mask Mandate Ban


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In 2021, as the COVID-19 scare was winding down, my old home state of Iowa passed a law banning mask mandates. There was an immediate legal challenge, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa put a hold on the ban. On Tuesday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, allowing the mask mandate ban to go into effect.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issued a temporary restraining order for House File 847 due to a lawsuit filed in 2021 by ARC of Iowa and the American Civil Liberties Union. ARC, which serves children with disabilities, said the lack of masking put children at risk for COVID-19. The lawsuit named Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Education director and ten school districts they said failed to enforce mask mandates as defendants.

The appeals court said ARC and the ACLU lacked standing on their claims that children would be harmed by the ban on mask mandates because they could not show they suffered an injury that is “concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent.” 

“Here, because Plaintiffs have only alleged the potential risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19 at school, the risk of harm is too speculative to satisfy the injury in fact element,” the court said in its ruling. “Even if Plaintiffs could show injury in fact, they cannot carry their burden to establish traceability.”

While this decision applies to the area under the jurisdiction of the 8th Circuit, it would seem to set a precedent not only for other circuit courts but also for any challenges to possible future federal mask mandates. While the state level is the appropriate thing for this kind of legislation (I’m happy to report that Alaska hit “screw that” pretty early in the process), it’s more than likely that, sooner or later, the national government will try this again.

The plaintiffs also failed to show the existence of a case that requires federal intervention, the ruling said.

“Further, Iowa Code § 280.31 does not prohibit a school from complying with disability laws, nor have Plaintiffs alleged that a school denied their request for masking as a reasonable accommodation tailored to their child’s situation,” the ruling said.

Attorney General Brenna Bird said the decision means “freedom wins.”

The original ruling may be viewed here.

See Related: WATCH: L.A. General’s Chief Medical Officer Pours Ice Cold Water on Barbara Ferrer’s New Mask Mandate 

Don’t Look Now, but Mask Mandates Just Returned to Some Federal Buildings

In past outbreaks, such as the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, the government advised but did not order, and that’s the appropriate action for Washington to take. But the real problem with this whole event is that all of the mandates — masks, shelter-in-place, business closures, “social distancing,” and all the other hooraw — didn’t have any measurable effect. One need look no further than Sweden, which took essentially no action, to see that. For the most part, Sweden went about their business while the rest of the world sent their national economies into a tailspin, and they came out of the far end of this outbreak with good results.

Make no mistake: During the COVID-19 panic, too many people meekly masked up, stayed home, closed their businesses, and, frankly, complied. Now, today, there remain those in government who noted this and would like to take advantage of this placid compliance. But now, the 8th Circuit has thrown a spike-strip down on the road to overbearing government control; let’s hope that some more courts follow their example.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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