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Appeals court to consider NYC soda ban

A judge invalidated the sugary drink ban one day before it was set to take effect

As summer heats up, an appeals court on Tuesday will consider whether New Yorkers should be able to quench their thirst with super-sized sodas.

Lawyers for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will argue in favor of a proposed ban that would prohibit businesses subject to health inspections—including restaurants, stadiums, delis and movie theaters—from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The ban was set to go into effect on March 12, before N.Y. Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling invalidated it on March 11. Tingling found that the ban’s many loopholes, which would have allowed the sale of large beverages at businesses such as convenience stores and supermarkets, rendered it “arbitrary and capricious.”

The judge also ruled that the city’s board of health exceeded its authority by passing the law without legislative approval.

Lawyers for the Bloomberg administration, meanwhile, argue that the proposed ban is an important public health measure motivated by the city’s rising obesity rates. "The board of health took reasonable and completely appropriate steps to combat the city's growing obesity epidemic,” Fay Ng, the city attorney spearheading the appeal told Thomson Reuters.

Bloomberg has previously had success passing sweeping health measures, such as a law requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus and another banning smoking in many public spaces.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the sugary drink ban, see:

NYC appeals decision to strike down sugary drink ban

Judge strikes down NYC sugary drink ban

New York City grants three-month reprieve from sugary drink fines

Beverage industry groups sue to block NYC sugary drink ban

Alanna Byrne

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