Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kansas City lawsuit may strike down Missouri smoking bans!

A lawsuit was filed last Friday challenging the constitutionality of the Kansas City smoking ban. The Kansas City business owners who brought the suit argue that state law clearly allows smoking in certain classes of businesses with language that disallows local government from imposing further smoking restrictions on these protected businesses. I have spoken extensively with the lawyer who is handling this case, Jonathan Sternberg, and he believes his chances of success are very strong. I was thinking of financing this lawsuit at one point, but I am glad a Kansas City business group has taken charge. Some Missouri smoking bans are currently compliant with state law by exempting these protected classes of businessses, but others are not. The smoking ban in Columbia, for instance, will be struck down if these Kansas City business owners prevail, as would, I suspect, the Ballwin and Arnold bans and the proposed St. Charles ban.