Judge Blocks NYC's Ban on Large Sodas

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 11 2013 3:29 PM

Judge Blocks Mayor Bloomberg's Ban on Large Sodas

151960676
A 32-ounce soda is filled at a Manhattan McDonalds on September 13, 2012 in New York City

Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images

A state judge invalidated Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial ban on the sale of large sugary sodas and similar drinks in New York City restaurants this afternoon, less than 24 hours before it was set to go into effect. The Wall Street Journal with the details from today's ruling:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The city is "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations," New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling decided Monday.
The regulations are "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences," the judge wrote. "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."
Advertisement

The New York City Board of Health signed off on what was to be the first-of-its-kind ban this past September. The new measure would have made it illegal for restaurants, movie theaters, and street vendors to sell sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban was to affect sweetened beverages like nondiet sodas and energy drinks, but didn't apply to fruit juices, milk-based drinks, or alcoholic beverages. While calorie-free diet sodas weren't impacted directly by the proposal, fast-food chains and other establishments with self-service fountains would have been banned from offering cups that exceeded the 16-ounce limit, effectively limiting access to the super-sized drinks that have become ubiquitous in most chains.

The proposal did, however, contain several large loopholes that would have allowed New Yorkers to easily get their sugary fixes from 7-Elevens and similar convenience stores, which were exempt along with vending machines and some newsstands.

The mayor's office is expected to appeal today's ruling.

This post was updated at 3:52 p.m. with additional information.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.