A bit of a legal technicality could reinstate the Evansville, Ind. smoking ban recently passed and then overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court.
14News.com reports that after a meeting between City Council President John Friend and a legislative attorney in Indianapolis, a loophole may have been found that would allow the city to ban smoking in its bars and restaurants while not being in violation of the state constitution’s Equal Privileges and Immunity Clause, which is what prompted the state’s high court to overturn the ban. The term is repairment, and Friend told the station that “as (I) understand it, that means vessels like the Tropicana Riverboat in downtown Evansville are regulated by maritime law.”
That would mean that the Tropicana Casino is technically not part of the city because it is a riverboat in the Mississippi River. In turn, the exemption provided to them in the original ban would be nullified and the ban could return without issue.
While it is not clear if this development will apply to this case, Friend said he wants the city’s attorneys to begin investigating it.
Friend also met with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and suggested that the state could make all riverboat casinos either smoking or non-smoking, which would then allow cities whether or not to allow smoking in bars and taverns.