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Court Nixes Challenge of Successful Smoking Ban

(CN) - The Missouri Court of Appeals tossed out a ruling upholding a city's right to place a smoking-ban ordinance on the November 2006 ballot, because the ordinance had already passed when the lower court issued the judgment.

The appeals court said the issue was moot before the trial court's ruling in October 2007, because 70 percent of voters passed the smoking ban in 2006.

The Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners had argued that the city's method of enacting the ordinance - through city council passage followed by voter approval - violated the city's charter.

But the appeals court ruled that there is no longer a live controversy.

"Because we conclude that this lawsuit is moot," Judge Ahuja wrote, "we do not address the merits of this issue."

The court declined to invoke the narrow "capable of repetition" exception to the mootness doctrine.

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