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
National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Report: NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance program

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the police unit behind NYPD's Muslim surveillance program was disbanded.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.