Appeals court will consider blocked NYC soda ban on Tuesday

A 64-ounce drink is displayed alongside other soft drink cup sizes at a news conference at City Hall in New York, May 31, 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Burton
A 64-ounce drink is displayed alongside other soft drink cup sizes at a news conference at City Hall in New York, May 31, 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Lawyers for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration will try to convince an appeals court on Tuesday to reinstate a ban on large sugary drinks, three months after a judge struck it down at the 11th hour as an illegal overreach of executive power.

The law, one of Bloomberg’s signature public health policies, would have barred sugary drinks larger than 16-ounces from businesses under the city health department’s authority, including restaurants, movie theaters and other food-service establishments. The ban did not apply to businesses that are not subject to health inspections, including convenience stores such as 7-Eleven.

The beverage and restaurant industries challenged the law in court. In March, a day before the law was to take effect, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan invalidated it on two grounds: that the ban’s exceptions made it arbitrary and that the mayoral-appointed health board improperly sidestepped the city council when it passed the law in September 2012 without legislative approval.

After Tuesday’s arguments before a panel of judges at the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, it could take months for the court to issue a ruling.

Bloomberg steps down from his third and final term as mayor at the end of the year and it remains unclear whether his successor will try to impose the ban.

The outcome of the case could have long-term implications for future mayors who want to address public health issues such as obesity, both sides have said.

Matthew Greller, who represents the plaintiff National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, said in April: “It was never about obesity; it was never about soda … The question, fundamentally, is: What is the power of a city agency?”

City lawyers have likened the sugary drink law to previous health board policies such as adding fluoride to the water supply and requiring chain restaurants to post calories that were upheld in courts. But the plaintiffs have said a ban that limits consumer choice is far more intrusive.

Fay Ng, the city attorney leading the appeal, said in an email: “The board of health took reasonable and completely appropriate steps to combat the city’s growing obesity epidemic.”

In a statement on Monday, Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for plaintiff American Beverage Association, which represents companies such as The Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, said the group was confident that Tingling’s ruling would stand.

“While we commend the city for its commitment to health and wellness, the ban would have arbitrarily and disproportionately penalized small businesses,” he added.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax. Editing by Andre Grenon)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…