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You probably know that a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order, stopping the enforcement of the Iowa law (part of House File 847) prohibiting schools from enacting mandates requiring employees, students or members of the public, when on school property, to wear masks. The case was brought by the ACLU representing parents of 11 students with disabilities, and disability advocates. It applies to all Iowa K-12 schools. Governor Reynolds says the state will appeal. The appeal will be heard by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in Omaha. The Circuit Court decision could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the losing side. 

The basis for the judge’s ruling is that the law discriminates against students with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. 

Keep in mind that the ruling only allows a school district to mandate masks. The school is not required to do so. Also, anyone who wants to wear a mask is free to do so. Some schools have already said they will mandate masks. Others are not. Some may be waiting to see how the lawsuit turns out. 

The judge makes the flat statement that “Some children, like Plaintiffs, are at greater risk of severe illness than others.” In support of this conclusion, he cites the CDC as follows: “The CDC’s research ‘suggests that children with medical complexity, with genetic, neurologic, metabolic conditions, or with congenital heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”’

Interesting terminology: “suggests” that children “might” be at increased risk.

Biden to Issue Executive Order Mandating Vaccinations

You may also know that President Biden has announced that he will issue an executive order requiring federal employees, including those in the military, but not including postal workers, to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. He says the order will also cover employees of contractors who do business with the federal government and employees of health care providers, who receive payments from the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Also included are employees of businesses with more than 100 employees. Their employees must be vaccinated or get a weekly test for COVID-19. He bases this part of the order on the OSHA law. I am not sure how long it will take for the President to get this order drafted and implemented. When it goes into effect, I am confident that there will be at least one lawsuit filed to try to stop it.   

Author: Julian Garrett