Bloomberg will appeal ruling on ‘arbitrary and capricious’ soda ban

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

A New York City judge has overturned New York City’s ban on large sugary drinks, which was set to take effect Tuesday, calling the law “arbitrary and capricious.”

New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling wrote this afternoon that the city Board of Health does not have the authority to limit or ban an item in order to control chronic diseases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The law is ”fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” Tingling wrote in today’s decision.

“The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule,” he wrote, according to WSJ.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg and the mayor-appointed Board of Health overstepped their authority with the ban, venturing into territory belonging to the elected City Council, Tingling added, according to the Associated Press.

The soda ban, dreamed up by Bloomberg, would have prohibited restaurants, movie theaters and other public venues from selling sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Convenience stores and supermarkets, which are regulated by the state, were not part of the law.

Despite Tingling’s strongly-worded decision, Bloomberg’s administration plans to appeal the ruling, Reuters reports.

“We plan to appeal the decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the Board of Health’s decision will ultimately be upheld,” Michael Cardozo, a lawyer with the city’s Corporation Counsel, said in a statement.

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