Efforts to roll back Delaware County’s ban on smoking in bars, taverns and fraternal clubs was dealt a setback last week when a judge refused to issue a temporary injunction against the major parts of the ordinance.
Delaware Circuit Court 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees wrote in a decision that the plaintiffs — the Delaware County Licensed Beverage Association, four fraternal clubs and a tobacco shop — should have taken action before the ordinance went into effect Aug. 11.
Last summer, commissioners passed the ordinance and it went into force 30 days later, which should have been plenty of time to file an injunction against it.
Now it appears the ordinance will become permanent, or at least much more difficult to overturn. Although a suit is still pending to do just that, the judge wrote there was “no solid case law upon which to base a finding that success on the merits (of the lawsuit) is ‘reasonably likely.’ ” Vorhees found no evidence any court had declared a smoking ban ordinance to be unconstitutional. . . .
it appears the plaintiffs have an uphill battle. They are entitled to their day in court (although no court date had been set last week), and a ruling will be issued on the merits of this ordinance and the laws, not on statistics regarding the ill effects of smoking or how many jobs and dollars have been lost because of this and similar ordinances. Nor will the whims of public opinion play a role in interpreting laws.
That’s the way it ought to be.