Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2005

Judge rules in favor of city smoking ban

December 22, 2005, 4:38 p.m. Updated December 22, 2005, 11:00 p.m.


Enforcement of the city's smoking ban should continue, despite a lawsuit from a Lawrence bar owner challenging its constitutionality, a Douglas County District Court judge has ruled.

In a written ruling made public this afternoon, Judge Jack Murphy said that Lawrence bar owner Dennis Steffes had not shown there's any reason for the enforcement of the 18-month old ban to be halted while his case works its way through the system.

As part of his findings, Murphy also refuted several of Steffes' arguments regarding the constitutionality of the law. Murphy said he had not seen compelling evidence that the city's law was unconstitutionally vague or that it illegally superseded state laws governing the regulation of smoking. Both are key arguments in Steffes' lawsuit.

The order does not prohibit the lawsuit from continuing, though. Steffes - who operates the nightclubs Coyotes and Last Call - said he had not yet seen the order but does plan to continue with the case.


Smoking ban. Enlarge video

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Friday's Journal-World.


jayhawks71 12 years, 5 months ago

Well, are the anti-Martin anti-judge, anti-ban people going to call for Murphy's head now? Or in post-re-sentencing logic, is everyone against the ban going to accept Murphy's ruling on the law because "someone has said so" just like the logic that somehow Martin "was wrong" because she re-sentenced defendants to less than half the state sentencing guidelines after reprimand?

Let the illogic begin!

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

I say shut the rowdy Last Chance down and do the taxpayers a favor. How's that for illogic?

Debbie Guy Spreer 12 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Judge Murphy!!! I am very allergic to smoke and whenever I go (used to go) into an eating establishment, I would always ask to be seated farthest away from smoking sections, and I still have trouble breathing! And usually you have to walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking section.... now does that make sense? I thoroughly enjoy eating out now that Lawrence is a non-smoking city. I thank you, my children and grandchildren thank you!!!!

Ember 12 years, 5 months ago

All someone needs is the right funding, and this city wide ban can be broken in half.

City, county and state laws cannot supercede federal laws, and all someone has to do is open an establishment and turn it smoker's only.

Revoke the business liscence and it's suddenly a federal case. Revoke a liquor liscence, and the same issue comes up. This ban is beyond reprehensible.

How many schools are funded by taxes on smokers?

Highway repairs?

Medical coverage?

Do some probing. It might shock you.

glockenspiel 12 years, 5 months ago

Hey, if you don't like smokey places...don't go. Going to a privately owned restraunt is not a right, but a privilage granted to you by its owner.

Its the discomfort of a few that results in the loss of freedom for the majority...

Ember 12 years, 5 months ago

Exactly dead on, Glock.

Nothing physically impedes people from going to a restaurant with a smoking section. It is their CHOICE (I know, it's such a nasty term) to walk through the doors and spend their money.

Cough, cough.

Ya know, I hacked and coughed more when I was a non smoker than I have since I started smoking. I have chronic bronchitis. Have had it since I was 7. My medical records show that I haven't had a single attack of it since 1993, when I went from smoking 1 pack/3 days to about a pack a day.

Scientists have proven that perfume is 100-150% more dangerous for asthmatics than a room filled with cigarette smoke. Yet dozens upon dozens insist on marinating themselves in whatever scents they have available at the moment. I have heard of no ban on perfume in the works.

Liberty 12 years, 5 months ago

Not a surprise from a judge who really works for the city/state. He is in the position to have to protect the system, not fairly judge according to the Constitution.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Liberty, what constitutional grounds could he use to strike down the ban?

And as an asides, Judge Murphy is a pipe-smoker (tobacco only, as far as I know.)

blakus 12 years, 5 months ago

this is blakus's brother, and i have one small point

places like restaraunts, and other family oriented businesses, allow minors into their buildings without restraint. But minors are not allowed inside bars and nightclubs.

Minors are not allowed to buy tabaco products. Yet they are (were) allowed to be exposed to 2nd hand smoke (and yes, you can argue about the science all you want. But seriously, it can't be healthy!)in an inclosed area. why a minor can't willingly harm themself, but others are allowed to do it for them is beyond me!

I say keep the ban for buildings where minors are allowed and expected.

Bars and nightclubs can then argue for themselves about lifting the ban. (because soon i'll be 21, and i'm not going to make the arguments for them, i like clean air with my drinks!)

lhs2002 12 years, 5 months ago

And I suppose all of those judges in New York really work for the city/state too? If New York can handle a smoking ban with few problems, I think Lawrence can too. Also, it's worth noting that Fairway, KS, recently passed a smoking ban too. And Prairie Village and Lansing may be doing it very soon as well. If PV does it, Overland Park likely will follow soon.

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