Nanny State

But What About the Rights of Late-Term Fetuses To Smoke?


Last year, the great state of Ohio–home to seven or eight past and future presidents, Doris Day, and more forgotten professional football teams (including the Bengals and Browns) than anywhere else–passed a smoking ban that has proven difficult to implement fully. First off, the state's health department took forever to actually getting around to coming up with a set of specific, enforceable rules. Second, a lawsuit challenged the popular law (a ballot initiative that passed with something on the order of 2/3 of Buckeyes pouring water on lighting up).

That lawsuit has been sent packing. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:

A Hamilton County judge refused to block enforcement of Ohio's indoor smoking ban Wednesday, clearing the way for the law to take effect today.

Common Pleas Judge Fred Nelson refused to block enforcement of the law after concluding Ohioans do not have a constitutional right to smoke or to own businesses that permit smoking.

"There is no fundamental right … to smoke in public," Nelson wrote in his decision. "This court declines to fabricate such a right."…

"The constitutions of the United States and the state of Ohio do not recite any 'right to smoke in public'; controlling precedent creates no such right; and other courts have held that there is no such right," Nelson wrote.

He also refuted the businesses' claim that the ban violates their right to use their property as they see fit. They had argued the case is similar to the recent eminent domain case in Norwood, where homeowners won in court after the city tried to take their property….

"A law may be thought ill-advised, paternalistic, and generally obnoxious, and still not be unconstitutional," Nelson wrote.

More here.