The City plans to immediately appeal a decision by a state Supreme Court judge to block Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s large sugary drinks ban.
New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled Monday that the city’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces was unconstitutional.
But Bloomberg said the city would appeal the decision and that he believed the courts would ultimately approve of the ban.
“We strongly believe that, in the end, the courts will recognize the Board of Health’s authority to regulate the sale of beverages that have virtually no nutritional value and which – consumed in large quantities – are leading to disease and death for thousands of people every year,” Bloomberg said. “There are many, many instances where a lower court decision has gone against us and then been reversed. If lower court rulings always stood, Grand Central Terminal would have been knocked down 40 years ago.”
The ban would have prevented restaurants, theaters, sports stadiums and any venue that receives a letter grade from the city’s Health Department from selling sodas larger than 16 ounces.
The new rule would not have applied to supermarkets or convenience stores.
Meanwhile, northeast Queens elected officials praised the Supreme Court’s decision to block the ban.
“I will work with my colleagues in the City Council to make sure a law like this never passes again,” Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, said. “It has been a waste of time and resources. Our small businesses are the engine that drives our economy. This soda ban, and all excessive burdens on business, is like the government putting sugar in the gas tank.”
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, said the city should instead be focusing on other issues, such as school budgets, water rates and taxes.
“While I agree that something must be done to address the growing obesity problem in this city and that this policy derives from those good intentions, I believe this ban just went too far,” Avella said. “There are surely other ways to curb obesity rates in this city that do not involve infringing on an individual’s personal choices.”