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Smoking Bans: This Is A Paper For Political Science Regarding Smoking Bans In Restaurants.

2001 words - 8 pages

For a law to be challenged as unconstitutional it must go through the state courts, then the federal courts, and finally it comes to the Supreme Court. Many state courts are currently upholding new legislation that creates a smoking ban in public places. However, the ability for a state court to uphold the laws created in its own state and what it would mean for the Supreme Court to say that same law is constitutional are two totally different things. It is that division between the state courts and the Supreme Court that shows federalism in America. One group must look at the entire nation and the other, just their own constituents. How would the federal Supreme Court' decision differ from the state Supreme Court rulings in states such as Wisconsin, California and New York, that allowed legislation of smoking bans in restaurants and bars? The differing opinions between the courts, the comparisons of privacy on a national stage and state stage, and who is affected by each opinion are the major factors that would affect the Supreme Courts opinion as compared to each state Supreme Court.When the constitution of the United States was written there was no mention of privacy, but since the Supreme Court has ruled on certain issues and vaguely defined what privacy is, challenges of what it covers are coming to courts constantly. As it relates to smoking bans in public places such as restaurants and bars, state courts have said that laws banning smoking in those places are constitutional and will be enforced. The issue has yet to come to the Supreme Court, however, when the court finally does look at this they will be not only looking at one state's law, but rather whether or not the states can take away the choice from the individual business owners as to whether or not smoking is permitted in their place of business. One can look at the high court's opinions on privacy which tend to error on the side of conservativeness to make the educated guess that the court will say banning smoking in people's places of business is a choice those owners must make and that the state law can only cover federal buildings, parks, and areas of that nature. As of 2000, only three states have had their law challenged to their state supreme court. California, New York, and Wisconsin all have had the law challenged and each court had a 3-2 decision favoring the legislation (Van Geel 21). The fact that the courts' opinion would completely change based on one vote means that the law in those states will constantly be disputed.No law or opinion by the Supreme Court will make every person in America happy. Nevertheless, when the Supreme Court compares the three opinions by the state courts and then looks at their own opinion, they must take into account the other forty seven states. Just because those laws work in three states does not mean that the legislation should be passed everywhere. The high court must look at the consequences of their decision and what would happen...

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