Tonganoxie Kevin Haislip is about to get his day in court.
The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case involving Haislip’s Downtown Bar and Grill in Tonganoxie. The justices will hear arguments centering on an injunction Kansas District Court Judge Franklin Theis issued in June 2010 against a state smoking ban at the bar and a few other private clubs licensed between Jan. 1, 2009, and July 1, 2010. A state law that forbids smoking in public places went into effect July 1, 2010.
The Kansas Attorney General’s office will argue against the injunction.
Theis upheld the anti-smoking law, but agreed with Haislip’s attorney that the Jan. 1, 2009, cut-off date was arbitrary because it allowed some recently opened private clubs to be grandfathered in against the smoking prohibition but not others. The Downtown Bar and Grill received its private club license in May 2009.
The Legislature established a cut-off date to prevent taverns from skirting the ban by changing status as the law was being debated.
Haislip said he was confident Supreme Court Justices would agree with Theis.
“I think we’ll probably be OK,” Haislip said Monday. “I think they’ll grandfather us.”
Although his name is on the lawsuit, other private clubs in the same cut-off date limbo joined his lawsuit, Haislip said.
“I wasn’t the only one in this lawsuit,” he said. “I haven’t spent a whole lot on it. I won’t spend any more. What they say is the way it will be.”