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Published: Thursday, 12/7/2006

Court grants 15-day reprieve on Nevada smoking ban at bars, some slot machines


LAS VEGAS A judge today granted a 15-day restraining order to block a new ban on smoking at some bars and around the slot machines at supermarkets, gas stations and convenience stores.

Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon said today that there was a reasonable likelihood that a group of business owners could persuade him that the voter-approved ban, to take effect on Friday, was unconstitutional.

This is not an issue of my telling the voters their vote is wrong. It s an issue of the constitutionality of the law they voted on, Herndon said.

A hearing on the law was set for Dec. 19.

Nevada voters approved the ballot measure last month, coming as a surprise to many in the home of all-night casino gambling, on-the-house booze and legalized prostitution. The smoke ban would not effect gambling areas of casinos.

The business group filed suit Tuesday asking for an injunction and a restraining order to keep police from enforcing the law, claiming it was unconstitutional, too vague to comply with, and unfairly discriminated against some businesses.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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