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

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.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

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.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.