[Ed. – Is there anything sad-funnier or more predictable than NYT couching this as a win for “the American soft-drink industry”? — instead of as what it is: a win for the scope of government and individual liberty?]
The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead.
The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and dashing the hopes of health advocates who have urged state and local governments to curb the consumption of drinks and foods linked to obesity.
In a 20-page opinion, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals wrote that the city’s Board of Health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” in enacting the proposal, which was championed by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Judge Pigott wrote that the complexity of the proposal and its reach into the everyday lives of millions meant that the City Council ought to address it instead.
The ruling was a major victory for the American soft-drink industry, which had fought the plan. Two lower courts had already ruled against the city, saying it overreached in trying to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
The court’s 4-to-2 decision could also have larger implications for city agencies like the Board of Health in their ability to generate high-profile initiatives that can withstand legal challenges.
In a blistering dissent of the opinion, Judge Susan P. Read wrote that the ruling ignored decades of precedent in which the board was given broad purview to address public health matters, such as regulating the city’s water supply and banning the use of lead paint in homes.