Supreme Court Upholds Smoking Ban in Juneau

In a case that could have statewide implications, the Alaska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the City and Borough of Juneau’s smoking ban for private clubs.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles sued the city in 2008, arguing the ban violated their freedom of association under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, as well as their privacy rights under the Alaska Constitution.

In October 2009, a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the city, and the Eagles appealed to the state Supreme Court.

City Attorney John Hartle defended the ban, designed to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke.

The Supreme Court agreed, ruling that “The City has a legitimate interest in protecting the public from the well-established dangers of second-hand tobacco smoke.”

Eagles’ attorney Paul Grant says the case is now over.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case last September at Juneau Douglas High School as part of its Supreme Court LIVE program.

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Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

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