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Big John's Billiards, Inc. v. State

Supreme Court of Nebraska

August 29, 2014

BIG JOHN'S BILLIARDS, INC., A NEBRASKA CORPORATION, APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF NEBRASKA ET AL., APPELLANTS AND CROSS-APPELLEES, AND DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, APPELLEE

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Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: JODI NELSON, Judge.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, Dale A. Comer, Lynn A. Melson, and Natalee J. Hart for appellants.

Theodore R. Boecker, Jr., of Boecker Law, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee Big John's Billiards, Inc.

HEAVICAN, C.J., CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLERLERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ., and PIRTLE, Judge. WRIGHT, J., not participating. CASSEL, J., dissenting in part.

OPINION

Page 732

[288 Neb. 940] Stephan, J.

The Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act (the Act)[1] prohibits smoking in public places and places of employment but exempts certain facilities from that prohibition. In this action, we are asked to determine the constitutionality of three of these exemptions. We conclude that one exemption [288 Neb. 941] is constitutional, but the remaining two are unconstitutional special legislation which are severable from the Act.

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I. BACKGROUND

In 2008,[2] the Nebraska Legislature amended the Act to make it " unlawful for any person to smoke in a place of employment or a public place." [3] The Act defines " [p]ublic place" as " an indoor area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted." [4] The Act specifically provides that " [a] ...


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