Judge Rules New York’s Sugary Drink Ban “Arbitrary and Capricious”

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 12, 2013

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Soda CanManhattan state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down a New York law that was set to go into effect today, spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg, prohibiting sugary drinks sold in containers above 16 ounces. Citing research that indicated 58% of New York adults are obese, Bloomberg pushed this plan as one way to combat obesity.

The law would have applied to venues serving food, such as restaurants, but not to grocery stores. The law was approved by the Board of Health and would have imposed $200 fines for transgressors. Judge Tingling took issue with the Board’s authority in imposing the ban, noting that the separation of powers delegates the making of laws to the city council and not the executive branch. He also pointed to the many loopholes in the law that rendered it ineffective for its stated purpose, such as the no-limit on refills, the targeting of some sugary drinks but not others that are even more sugary, and the ban’s applicability to restaurants but not grocery stores. The inherent self-contradicting provisions of the law rendered it “arbitrary and capricious,” according to the judge.

Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that he plans to appeal.

Find full coverage of the story at Bloomberg.com.

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