Fagan, et al. v. Axelrod, et al.
Petitioners, citizens of the State of New York who regularly used tobacco products, claimed that the New York State legislature violated their rights to liberty and privacy to smoke when it adopted new regulations prohibiting the smoking of tobacco products in certain public places. The petitioners further alleged that the prohibitions created irrational and capricious restrictions that infringed on their rights to due process and the equal protection of laws. The New York Court of Appeals had previously found that the same restrictions were unconstitutional as passed by an administrative agency, the New York Public Health Council, because the agency's regulations resolved certain social, economic, and political concerns that were uniquely for the state legislature to decide. In the present case, the Supreme Court of Albany County found that the regulations were constitutionally valid because the state legislature possessed the right to pass comprehensive public health regulations and because the regulations derived from rational governmental health concerns without infringing on any of the petitioners' fundamental rights.