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News Summary

Hearing scheduled for smoking ban case

Publication Date: 2011-11-03

The Kansas Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the appeal of a Shawnee County District Court ruling that temporarily exempted some private clubs from the statewide public smoking ban.

When legislators first drafted the smoking ban bill in 2009, they exempted private clubs licensed before Jan. 1, 2009. But the ban didn’t become law until July 2010, and clubs licensed after the 2009 grandfather date but before the new law became effective cried foul, saying they were being treated unfairly.

In June 2010, District Court Judge Franklin Theis issued a temporary injunction in favor of 31 class A and B private clubs that were granted licenses after the grandfather date.

Steve Six, the attorney general at the time, filed for appeal in August last year. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for 9 a.m. Dec. 7 on the third floor of the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka.

Theis in his ruling on the club’s request for injunction said that the grandfather date was "at best, an unintended consequence" and "wholly arbitrary."

He granted the injunction in response to a suit filed on behalf of The Downtown Bar and GRill, a class B club in Tonganoxie that was licensed in May 2009.