LANGUAGE

Fraternal Order of Eagles, et al. v. City and Borough of Juneau

The City and Borough of Juneau adopted a law banning smoking in public areas, finding it necessary for the protection of the public health. Seven years later, the city amended that law to include a prohibition on smoking in "private clubs," defined as establishments that offered food or alcoholic beverages for sale. One such establishment operated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles and several of its members brought an action against the city after the organization began experiencing a decline in membership. The plaintiffs argued that the amendment to the law was unconstitutional on its face and that it violated their rights to freedom of association under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as their rights to privacy under the first article of the Alaska Constitution. A superior court found in favor of the city. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Alaska affirmed that decision, finding that the smoking ban did not violate the appellants' First Amendment rights because it only regulated the conduct of the organization's members and did not limit their liberty to associate. The Supreme Court also found that the ban did not violate the Alaska state right to privacy because the ban bore a substantial relationship to the government's interest in protecting the public health.