A judge has refused to let bars in six Iowa counties reopen this weekend after the governor ordered them to close last week.

A group of bar owners in Polk and Dallas Counties sued, arguing Governor Kim Reynolds was unfairly targeting their industry and had given them just a few hours’ notice to shut down, adding to the
financial drain their businesses suffered from closures ordered this spring. While the judge did not issue a temporary injunction, he is letting the bar owners go to trial and argue the governor’s actions are unconstitutional.

Some of the bars involved say they may be permanently closed or bankrupt by then.

A spokesman for the governor says she did not make the decision to close bars in Polk, Dallas, Story, Johnson, Linn and Black Hawk Counties lightly and the governor appreciates the court’s thoughtful order that recognizes the challenges Reynolds faces during the pandemic.