August 11, 2009 - The American Cancer Society (ACS) wants a South Dakota circuit judge to declare the new smoking ban passed by the Legislature “necessary for the immediate preservation of public health” and throw out the request for a statewide vote.
Sioux Falls attorney Richard Casey, representing the ACS, is claiming in newly filed court papers that South Dakota's expanded smoking-ban law can't be referred to a public vote because it would violate the state constitution.
Casey is trying to use a provision of the constitution prohibiting referral of laws passed by the Legislature that “may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions.”
The South Dakota Supreme Court has never addressed the specific point regarding public health that Casey has raised, said Rapid City attorney Sara Frankenstein.
Frankenstein represents the four sponsors of the referral petition - Mike Trucano of Deadwood, Mark O'Neill of Henry and Don Rose and Pete Thompson of Sioux Falls - who are seeking a statewide vote in the November 2010 general election.
Casey is attempting to block the vote so that the new broader ban can take effect as soon as possible (ASAP). The law would ban smoking in bars, restaurants that serve alcohol and casinos. Smoking already is banned in most other business establishments and public buildings.
Reference: Smoke vote opposed American Cancer Society claims vote on ban would violate South Dakota Constitution by BOB MERCER, American News, 8/11/2009; American Cancer Society Joins Smoking Ban Fight by Chuck Harmer, KFSY.com, 8/11/2009.
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