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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 10, October 2011, Posted On: 10/4/2011

NE Pool Hall Fights Smoking Ban In State Supreme Court

Marcus Webb
smoking ban, amusement business, pool hall, Big John's Billiards, smoking ban is unconstitutional, pool table, Judge Jodi

OMAHA, NE -- Big John's Billiards will restate its arguments before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, Oct. 4, that Nebraska's 2009 smoking ban is unconstitutional.

Earlier this year, the Omaha pool hall won a partial victory in its case at the district court level.

Lancaster County District Judge Jodi Nelson ruled that the exemptions to the ban were unconstitutional because they granted unfair privileges to certain businesses or were unenforceable. (The exemptions applied to cigar bars, certain hotel rooms, tobacco-only retailers and medical research organizations that study smoking.)

That ruling satisfied neither side. Big John's wanted the entire ban declared unconstitutional. The state attorney general claimed Nebraska's government should be immune from this type of complaint and that Nelson's ruling was incorrect in treating the exemptions as unconstitutional "special legislation."

Both sides filed an appeal.

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