Ruling Expected On Louisville Smoking Ban

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Jefferson County Circuit Judge Denise Clayton has heard arguments for and against a request from hundreds of business owners to delay enforcement of a Louisville smoking ban.

Under the ordinance, smoking will be prohibited in all public places, except Churchill Downs and any tobacco manufacturer. Restaurant and bar owners say it's the race track exemption that they consider unfair. Clayton gave no indication when she would rule during a hearing yesterday, other than to tell an attorney filing a brief on the issue to do so quickly.

Attorneys on both sides said they expect the judge to rule by the end of the week, perhaps in a day or two.

Attorneys for the metro government agree that some businesses are likely to lose money because of the smoking ban. Assistant Jefferson County Attorney Scott Lilly told the judge that economic loss is not more important than protection of public health.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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