Photo: Dale Moore (Flickr)
Two weeks after more than a dozen lawsuits were filed challenging the smoking ban law in Indianapolis, several of the plantiffs have now combined their lawsuits into one complaint. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Indianapolis against Mayor Ballard and the City-County Council.
Ten bars and two individuals claim the smoking ban violates several of their Constitutional rights, including private property and the right of free association.
Mark Small, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, says he believes the lawsuit will have a better chance of success in federal court as opposed to state court.
“I don‘t believe that the framers would have seen government as having the authority to ban a lawful thing to do on private property when they themselves were discussing compromises on the Constitution in taverns smoking tobacco,” he says.
Small says one of their arguments will be that the council created a double standard by exempting cigar bars, hookah bars and private clubs.
Lindsay Grace with Smoke Free Indy, which led the fight for the smoking ban, says similar laws across Indiana and in other states have been consistently upheld in both state and federal court.
“We actually have 30 states that have some sort of smoke-free law, but we have 28 states that have nearly the identical law that we have here in Indianapolis,” she says. “These laws are standing and working and constitutional.”
Marc Lotter, the spokesman for Mayor Ballard, says the mayor is confident the smoking ban will be upheld.