The majority concluded that existing private clubs shall be exempted from the smoking ban on a rational basis. According to the majority, the claimed privacy interests of private club members shall be protected to avoid a conflict with the Indian tribes.
The court pointed out that the exemption was constitutional to support its conclusion. It argued that private club establishments are nothing but an extension of people's private homes. They are members of the organizations. People have fixed memberships for which they pay dues or fees to belong to them. It is similar to as people were gathering in their living rooms. Thus, the majority considered it as the private domain, not the public one. Exempting existing private clubs from smoking ban is mainly to protect club's financial investment and the expectations of the members of private clubs.
The dissenting opinion over the issue was that exempting existing private clubs from smoking ban gives absolute deference to the legislature. The defendants argued that smoking ban was to protect the employees in café and restaurants from second hand.
However, the dissent could not find any rational relationship between the intent and the exemption of private clubs from smoking ban. They assert that private clubs also employ many employees, and they by no means are less susceptible to the ill effects of second hand smoke.
Moreover, the dissent found that there is no evidence that the private club members have joined merely with the expectation that smoking would be allowed there. As opposed to the claim that people gathering in private clubs as in their living rooms, the dissenting opinion was that residential living rooms do not require full-time employees nor do they charge membership fees.
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