Nebraska Supreme Court Overturns Omaha Smoking Ban

A victory, of sorts, for smokers in Omaha.  The Nebraska Supreme Court Friday threw out the exceptions on a smoking ban.  The law stated that smoking was banned in all establishments tat served food.  There were two exceptions, keno parlors and Horseman’s Park.  The owners of the Marlybone Bar in Omaha took the issue to court saying there should be no exceptions.  Today, the high court agreed. 

The Supreme Court ruled that affidavits from two of Omaha‘s seven city council members should not have been considered in the case because they were taken three months after the ban was passed.  Those affidavits were the only evidence supporting the exceptions.  Blankenship says she is not sure if the ashtrays will be back on the table anytime soon. 

The victory will be short lived.  Starting June 1st of 2009, a statewide smoking ban goes into effect that bans smoking in all establishments, including keno halls and racetracks.  The City Council could also decide to take action with new exceptions to the ban.