KC's smoking ban is put on hold

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 6:09 p.m. CDT; updated 11:45 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

KANSAS CITY — A Jackson County judge has postponed Kansas City’s ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.

The voter-approved ban was scheduled to take effect on Saturday.

Nine establishments have sued to challenge that law. Judge John O’Malley on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement until he can hold a June 20 hearing, The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of small restaurant and bar owners, a tobacco shop and a bowling center.

They argue the voter-approved law is unconstitutional, especially because it still allows smoking on casino gaming floors, putting their businesses at an economic disadvantage.

Attorneys for the city say temporary restraining orders are routinely given, and they remain confident the new law will be upheld.

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