The U.S. Supreme Court on March 20 declined to hear a challenge to the federal government’s ban on smoking in public housing, reports Law360.
A New York group advocating for residents’ right to smoke in their apartments, sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for imposing the ban in 2016. The no-smoking rule applies within public housing apartments and in common areas, as well as within 25 feet outside apartment buildings.
NYC CLASH argued the ban violates tenants’ rights to due process and against unconstitutional seizures.
In August 2022, the D.C. circuit upheld the ban, arguing the 1937 Housing Act gave HUD the power to regulate smoking to improve air quality and maintain “safe and habitable” living quarters.
NYC CLASH’s founder Audrey Silk said his group’s legal challenge was about more than just tobacco smoking. “It is about the right to be left alone in your private home to use a legal product and by keeping government in check,” she said. “So the more ominous question now is ‘what’s next?'”