LANGUAGE

Big John's Billiards Inc. v. State of Nebraska et al.

A smoke-free law prohibited smoking in public places and places of employment, except for certain facilities, including: (1) certain guestrooms in hotels and lodging, (2) tobacco retail outlets, and (3) cigar bars.  A billiards hall challenged the law, because the law prohibited smoking in some places but not others, which could be considered discriminatory (here called "special legislation"). The court found that the similarity between guestrooms and private residences was sufficient to allow smoking.  By contrast, tobacco retail shops and cigar bars must be treated the same as other public places and work places under the law, so the exceptions allowing smoking there were unconstitutional.  The court also found that the smoke-free law was not a regulatory taking and did not impair contract rights.  The unconstitutional provisions were severable, so the rest of the smoke-free law was upheld.