Judge who issued order on mask ban had to apologize less than a year ago after calling Trump a criminal

District Judge Robert Pratt, who issued the order for Iowa to stop enforcing its law banning mask mandates in schools, was mired in controversy less than a year ago.

Pratt admitted wrongdoing and apologized publicly for public comments ridiculing President Donald J. Trump.

Pratt told The Associated Press in December:

“It’s not surprising a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals.” In a bit of humor, he added, “But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey.”

A judicial misconduct complaint was filed against Pratt by Lavenski Smith, chief judge of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pratt wrote a letter acknowledging his comments were “inappropriate.”

“I acknowledge the wrongfulness of the comments, and I regret the embarrassment they have caused to my court and the judiciary in general,” he wrote. “I am truly sorry for the remarks and apologize for having made them. I also want to reaffirm my commitment to the impartial administration of justice in full compliance with the Code of Conduct for United States judges.”