Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, October 18, 2013

Soda Ban Fizzles in Court

The war on soda by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has fizzled in court. Bloomberg's ban on big sodas would prohibit many restaurants from serving soda in cups larger than 16 ounces. Big-government Bloomberg and his appointees on the New York Board of Health want to control millions of New Yorkers in their beverage consumption. But the Appellate Division of the New York supreme court struck down Bloomberg's ban on larger servings of soda. That was a major defeat for the nanny state. Bloomberg's soda ban tried to treat adults like small children who need to be monitored by government officials. Instead of putting his proposal up to a vote of the people's elected representatives, Bloomberg got his friends on the Board of Health to mandate it without any vote. The Court ruled that the Board of Health lacked the authority to impose a soda ban. The attempted soda ban also gave the opportunity to liberal officials to make exceptions to the ban for some favored sellers. Grocery stores, for example, were allowed to continue selling sodas in containers larger than 16 ounces.

The New York Legislature has repeatedly rejected bills that would have regulated the consumption of high-sugar products. The legislature failed to pass bills that would have taxed sodas, banned them from check-out areas of large stores, and required warning labels. So the Court held that Bloomberg's soda ban improperly overrode the legislative process, because the legislature had tried and failed to achieve the soda ban.

Even if you agree that people waste too much money on soda, and drink too many sugary products, I don't think it is the duty of the government to play nanny to stop our sugar intake. This Court decision may have stopped local officials from sliding down a slippery slope toward the nanny-state government that Americans just don't want.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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