Large Soda Ban Already Banned!

Well, that was quick! A judge has decided that Mayor Bloomberg's ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces is toro caca, and went right ahead and invalidated it.

Reuters reports:

State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan ruled the new regulation was "arbitrary and capricious" and declared it invalid, after the American Beverage Association and other business groups had sued the city challenging the ban.

The decision was a blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had touted the ban as a way to address what he has termed an obesity "epidemic." But beverage manufacturers and business groups had called the law an illegal overreach that would infringe upon consumers' personal liberty.

A spokesman for Bloomberg's office was not immediately available for comment.

Arbitrary. Capricious. Judge Tingling, tell us more!
From the Times:

"It applies to some but not all food establishments in the city," Justice Tingling wrote. "It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories."

The judge also wrote that the fact that consumers can receive refills of sodas, as long as the cup size is not larger than 16 ounces, would "defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose the rule." The judge also appeared to be skeptical of the purview of the city's Board of Health, which the Bloomberg administration had maintained has broad powers to seek to better the public's health. That interpretation, the judge wrote, "would leave its authority to define, create, mandate and enforce limited only by its own imagination," and "create an administrative Leviathan."

Situation developing, obviously. Head to your local movie theater and get a large fountain soda before it's too late!

[Reuters, NYT, BBC, WSJ]

Image by Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock.