A judge has refused to suspend Iowa’s new statewide smoking ban that took effect July 1st. George Eichhorn is the attorney for the bar and restaurant owners who are suing the state and asked the judge for a temporary injunction to put the law on hold until the entire case was decided.
"Going into it we knew that there was a very heavy burden, especially when you’re talking about interfering with legislation and the acts of public officials, so it wasn’t a surprise," Eichhorn says of the judge’s ruling. "It was a disappointment."
Eichhorn was in court last Friday, telling the judge that the smoking ban is "bizarre" and "strange" and unconstitutional for a variety of reasons. Eichhorn says today’s ruling will have little impact on the way he argues the case. "Clearly, this is just a very preliminary step," Eichhorn says. "I think we’ll go through the normal procedures for our case."
A deputy attorney general argued Friday that legislators have the right to ban smoking as a public health measure and he pointed to other states and cities which have similar anti-smoking laws and similar lawsuits have failed.