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Monday, March 11, 2013

Judge Halts Bloomberg's NYC Soda Ban Calls It 'Arbitrary and Capricious - Ruling Embedded '

By Susan Duclos

 New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling just permanently put a stop to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration from banning the sale of large sugary drinks at New York City restaurants and other  establishments, calling it "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences."

Ruling will be embedded below the post.

Via WSJ:

The city is "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations," wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, blocking the rules one day before they would have taken effect. The city's chief counsel, Michael Cardozo, pledged to "appeal the ruling as soon as possible."

In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regime was "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences" that would be difficult to enforce with consistency "even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole."

"The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule," the judge wrote.

The Judge also said Bloomberg and the Board of Health overstepped their bounds.

“The rule would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it,” Judge Tingling wrote. “Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened drinks.”

Tingling sided with a coalition of store keepers, unions, theater owners and beverage sellers who have been fighting Bloomberg’s ban that was set to go into effect tomorrow.

“It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule, including but not limited to no limitations on refills, defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule,”  Judge Tingling wrote. (Source)

More at NYT, Reuters, The Daily Caller, Daily Mail, CBS New York, via Memeorandum.

A huge win against the Nanny State mentality of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and company.

[Update] American Beverage Association, one of the petitioners in the suit, issues a statement:

The court ruling provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban.  With this ruling behind us, we look forward to collaborating with city leaders on solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the people of New York City.”
[Update] Bloomberg vows to appeal the decision.

Updated links added to this post.