A More Perfect Union? NYC’s Soda Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Bloomberg’s limit on the size of sugary soft drinks fails in the courts.

NYC Soda Ban Unconstitutional

Unless they tell you to buy any size, that is. (Photo: Hobo Matt/Flickr)

Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor. He has written for The Awl, The New Inquiry, and elsewhere.

Michael Bloomberg may have to settle for a legacy of smokeless bars and trans-fat-free deep fryers. As the campaign to become his successor—and the Anthony Weiner jokes that come along with it—have come to dominate the news cycle as it relates to the mayoral issues of New York City, one of the three-term mayor's more significant health-policy achievements has been ruled unconstitutional: There will be no soda ban.

Back in March, a state Supreme Court judge ruled against the ban, which would limit the size of drinks sold at city restaurants to less than 16 ounces. This morning, a four-judge panel from the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division unanimously upheld that judgment. The mayor's ban "violated the state principle of separation of powers," according to the decision.

But Bloomberg hasn't given up on killing off the Big Gulp: "Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," the mayor said in a statement. That would send the soda ban debate to the Court of Appeals.

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