"U.S. National - AP Judge Strikes Down Iowa Sex-Offender Law 17 minutes ago Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo! By DAVID PITT, Associated Press Writer DES MOINES, Iowa - A federal judge on Monday struck down an Iowa law that prohibited convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and day-care centers. The Iowa Civil Liberties Union had challenged the constitutionality of the law, claiming it effectively banished offenders from most cities and towns. Judge Robert Pratt ruled that the 2002 law "unconstitutionally infringes" upon the rights of sex offenders. He issued an order prohibiting the state from enforcing the law, making permanent a temporary restraining order issued last summer. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said he was considering an appeal. In arguments to the judge, plaintiffs' attorney Philip Mears wrote: "There is no evidence that sex offenders re-offend by living within any magic number of feet from a school." Assistant Attorney General Gordon Allen argued that the law was sound public policy and designed to protect the state's most vulnerable citizens children. "While some may find the means chosen excessive ... there is nevertheless a rational basis for the legislative choice," Allen said. Lawmakers reacted to the ruling by saying they are determined to keep sex offenders away from children. "They committed a crime. We're trying to keep them away from our kids if possible," said Sen. Jerry Behn. "I'd like to have something on the books." Attorneys for the sex offenders had argued that such residency restrictions do little to keep children safe. "The lawmakers failed us," said Ben Stone, ICLU executive director. "Evidence is out there that extensively shows that the greatest threat to kids is from people that they know." The Iowa law was based on an Alabama statute that also requires sex offenders to live at least 2,000 feet from schools and day care centers. Laws in Kentucky and Indiana make homes and apartments within 1,000 feet off limits to sex offenders, while California bars placement of an offender within a quarter-mile of an elementary school. " Okay, I've got a solution for them: people who molest children shouldn't live. At all. Period.