LANGUAGE

Fogle v. H & G Restaurant

A number of businesses, trade associations, and tobacco companies filed an action to halt the implementation of a Maryland regulation prohibiting smoking of tobacco products in specifically identified public areas, claiming, among others, that the regulation's implementation would constitute a violation of the rights to freedom of expression, due process, property, and privacy. A circuit court granted the plaintiffs' request to halt the regulation's implementation, and the State of Maryland appealed the decision. The Court of Appeals of Maryland overruled the lower court's decision to halt implementation of the prohibition. Among its considerations, the Court of Appeals found that Maryland sufficiently demonstrated the scientific evidence concerning the harms of environmental tobacco smoke necessary to justify the regulation, that the economic impact of the regulation would not be overly burdensome of the plaintiffs' businesses, and that the regulation was written clearly enough to avoid confusion that could prejudice its implementation against the businesses' interests.