LOS ANGELES : Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Smoking Ban
The state Court of Appeal has rejected a tobacco-industry-sponsored challenge to the city of Los Angeles’ ban on smoking in restaurants.
The court’s 2nd Appellate District ruled Thursday that Section 339 of the City Election Code--which invalidates petition signatures gathered by people who are not residents and registered voters within the city--does not violate constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech.
The city clerk’s office ruled previously that, based on a 5% sample of signatures, pro-smoking forces had not gathered enough names to put a referendum invalidating the ban on the ballot.
The referendum’s backers argued that they had been unconstitutionally restricted to using petition circulators who were registered voters in the city. A Superior Court judge agreed, but the appellate court reversed his decision.
The ban remained in effect throughout the litigation.