Ind. (AP) — An American Legion post in northeastern Indiana is asking a
federal judge to put a hold on a statewide smoking ban set to take
attorney Scott Barnhart filed the lawsuit on behalf of American Legion
Post 243 in Ligonier, 40 miles northwest of Fort Wayne, in U.S. District
Court on Thursday. The lawsuit contends the smoking ban is too vague and
violates the equal protection clause of the state and federal
constitutions. It seeks a preliminary injunction preventing the state
from enforcing the ban.
message seeking comment from the state attorney general's office was
left Monday by The Associated Press.
Daniels signed Indiana's first statewide smoking restrictions in March
after it narrowly cleared the state Senate after compromises expanding
the number of exemptions were added. The law exempts Indiana's bars,
casinos, retail tobacco shops and private clubs, such as American Legion
But the new
law also says facilities that permit smoking can't host events at which
children will be present. The lawsuit says the post in Ligonier has
about 20 children in the facility week and between 25 and 50 people are
usually at the post a day.
recently spent $917 on an air-cleaning device and that it has
"dramatically improved" the air quality in the building, the lawsuit
contends the law is too vague because it encourages arbitrary
enforcement and because it fails to describe with "sufficient
particularity" what an individual or entity must do to satisfy the law.
The lawsuit says the law violates the equal protection clause because
the post has been identified as a fraternal group and has been
"irrationally singled out and is intentionally treated differently from
gambling facilities." The lawsuit also contends the law violates the
state's freedom of conscience provision, saying the law interferes with
the post members' individual decision to smoke or not.
seeks attorneys' fees and costs and any other relief, as well as a
permanent injunction against the law.