Evansville Smoking Ban Ruled Unconstitutional by Indiana State Supreme Court
In a 3-2 decision, the Indiana State Supreme Court has overturned the Evansville smoking ban that included bars and private clubs. Now, before you get all hot and bothered and think the smoking light is back on in your favorite restaurant and places like the Ford Center...it's not. This ruling primarily concerns the ban on bars and private clubs.
There is still an Indiana State smoking ban that remains in effect for workplaces and other public places including some restaurants. If you remember, the bars and clubs filed a lawsuit over the 2012 ban because it excluded Casino Aztar, now known as Tropicana and the new ruling basically says just that.
The court had a big problem with Tropicana's exemption because it violates the state Constitution's Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause, which basically prohibits any immunities that do not extend to all.
As you can imagine, this debate will again heat up and become a huge political issue because of the politics involved in Tropicana's exemption and believe me, that was a political maneuver.
If I read the ruling correctly, had the ban on bars and clubs extended to Tropicana as well, it would have been completely legal and constitutional. I am not a smoker and would love nothing more than to see smoking banned in all public places...period, end of story, but I do agree that the 2012 ban completely hosed the bars and private clubs and was not at all fair. The Indiana Supreme Court apparently agrees.....for now.
Strap yourself in, because this debate is gonna get good....release the hounds!!!!! You can the read the entire court ruling here.