Rotunda Lead Attorney in Challenge to Nevada Smoking Ban

With new smoking restrictions scheduled to take effect on December 8, a group of Nevada business owners has challenged the constitutionality of the anti-smoking initiative voters there approved in November. The suit, filed in District Court by a group for whom Professor Ronald Rotunda is one of the lead attorneys, alleges that the statute is "impermissibly vague" about what conduct is criminalized and therefore violates the plaintiffs' constitutional right to due process.

Legal challenge targets smoking ban, Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV), December 6, 2006. By K.C. Howard and Howard Stutz.

"University of Nevada, Las Vegas, law professor Lynne Henderson, who teaches constitutional law, says she has seen similar arguments made in other states.

"'One of the things that's troubling is that large casinos are exempt and it will hurt smaller businesses, but this (type of challenge) has not worked for anybody in any other state, so I'm not sure what success they're going to have,' Henderson said of the businesses seeking the injunction.

"Likewise, advocates for the act noted that challenges to similar statutes in other states have been unsuccessful.

"But Lenhard countered that those states' statutes defined enforcement procedures and were crafted by state legislatures. This act appears to be 'haphazardly' thrown together, he said.

"Henderson said the plaintiffs have very good lawyers working for them. Ronald Rotunda, a professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia is one of the leading constitutional attorneys in the country and one of the lead attorneys filing the complaint. Rotunda declined comment about the details of the suit, saying he'd prefer to speak after the parties file briefs."

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