The Iowa Supreme Court today (Friday) upheld a state law that forbids sex offenders from living within two-thousand feet of a school of day care. But Ben Stone, the executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, says the challenge of the law continues — through the federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court should decide this fall whether to review a lower federal court’s ruling that the Iowa law was constitutional. Stone says the law is “misguided” and not effective, and is currently unenforceable because a court has put a legal hold on the law until the appeals have run their course. “The real problem with the law is that it’s a nighmare to really try to enforce,” Stone says. “It’s very impractical for police to try to keep track of all this.” But legislators who crafted the law restricting where sex offenders may live are celebrating today’s (Friday’s) Iowa Supreme Court ruling and doubt the law will be overturned. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says he’s “very pleased” with the Iowa court’s ruling. “We believed all along that such a distance was reasonable and proper and finally we’ve got the court taking a position that really looks out for hte victims or potential victims…instead of always siding with the criminals.” Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Ankeny, offers a similar assessment. Lamberti says lawmakers are “pretty confident” the U.S. Supreme Court will rule it’s a state’s rights issue. “It’s just (an) important step in protecting our kids,” Lamberti says of the law.
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