High court stands by defense of Ohio's smoking ban

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court won't reconsider its ruling declaring Ohio's smoking ban constitutional.

The high court on Wednesday denied a request by a Columbus tavern owner to revisit the May decision on the ban.

Justices ruled unanimously on the question, rejecting claims by Richard Allen and his business, Bartec Inc., that the smoking ban was supposed to be enforced against smokers, not business.

Allen's tavern, also known as Zeno's Victorian Village, was cited 10 times between July 2007 and September 2009 for violations of the ban and faced fines of $33,000.

On behalf of Bartec and Allen, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law claimed the fines were an illegal taking of property, violating the state's legitimate police powers. The center's argument was rejected.

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