Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government v. Metro Louisville Hospitality Coalition, Inc.
2009 WL 350694
Opinion by Judge Moore; Judges Taylor and VanMeter concurred.
The Court reversed an opinion and order of the circuit court striking as unconstitutional Louisville’s Smoke Free Law, after it found that a provision exempting Churchill Downs was unconstitutional.
The Court first held that a justiciable controversy existed, even thought the exemption was deleted when the Law was amended and reenacted, because appellees sought relief beyond the exemption and because there were pending actionable citations under the Ordinance. The Court then held that the circuit court erred in relying on legislative history in the absence of an ambiguity in the law. The Court further held that the circuit court erred in relying on Burrow v. Kapfhammer, 284 Ky. 753, 145 S.W.2d 1067 (1940), in reaching its conclusion that the exemption invalidated the entire ordinance. The Court ultimately concluded that even in light of the invalid exemption, the severability clause substantively comported with KRS 446.090 and the law could remain in force because it could still fully serve the purpose of promoting public health.