Businesses and Beverage Industry Take Bloomberg’s Soda Ban To Court

soda ban

In the last weeks before super size Coca-Cola goes contraband in New York City, the American Beverage Association (ABA) and other businesses are taking Bloomberg to court over his controversial soda ban, claiming that it’s an unconstitutional affront to small businesses and personal liberties. Lawyers representing big soda, small business, and New York City took their claim to Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling today, nitpicking the legality of the regulations, which are set to be enacted in March.

James Brandt, a lawyer representing the ABA, claims the way Bloomberg passed the soda ban, which restricts the sales of sugary drinks bigger than 16 ounces, violates voters’ trust:

What makes this ban patently offensive is that the regulation at issue is promulgated by the Board of Health, a group of civil servants who are not elected by the citizens, who are appointed by the mayor of New York and as a practical matter serve at his discretion.

But The Board of Health claims it’s perfectly ethical (and within their legal bounds) to pass regulations that are designed to protect citizens’ health.

According to Reuters, Brandt argued to the judge that the regulations also open doors for other infringement on citizens’ freedoms…bolstering his argument with examples of

“What comes next? Red meat twice a week but no more?” Brandt said. “No jay-walking?”


Tingling interrupted him with a smile.


“For the record, counsel, jay-walking is illegal,” he said, drawing laughs from the gallery.

Brandt’s other big argument was to point out that the super size soda ban won’t be effective in restricting consumption, as it only reaches select businesses; not all. Thomas Merrill, a lawyer for the health department, countered that “the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good,” and that the regulation is still important for protecting against obesity.

Whether a soda ban is constitutional or not will no doubt be played out in court over the next few week. New Yorkers will still be able to get their hands on plenty of soda, regardless of the outcome, but if the regulations pass muster in court, it could open the doors for a whole new era of public health policy. For better or worse.

What do you think: Is the soda ban unconstitutional?

Photo: flickr user section215

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    • Bob Kluver

      Bloomberg is unconstitutional, throw his ass out of America!

    • Mickey Roberts

      There are still dry counties all over America, no alcohol. Why is that prohibited? Pot is still illegal even though it probably harms less than soda. You have to be 18 to buy cigarettes. If you can regulate one, why not all? If you can regulate one, why not unregulate all? Funny thing though, most gop’ers say it’s Obama’s fault. The dry counties and NYC are republican controlled. The soda industry is killing people, making them diabetics with no teeth. Yet advertising has more people drinking soda than water. Diet soda is VERY toxic. If you ask a doctor they will tell you to not ever drink it. The soft drink industry is like the tobacco industry. They pay millions to push the stuff and keep it legal. Really, not being able to supply your fat face with a big gulp is the fighting point you choose?