Judge to Bloomberg: unhand that soda

In a sweeping decision, trial court judge Milton Tingling has struck down the ban on sugary drinks decreed by the New York City Department of Health, which had been scheduled to go into effect tomorrow. I discuss the ruling in a Cato podcast above. I’m also quoted by Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review Online:

It was a sweeping ruling, because the judge said not only was the ban arbitrary and capricious, but it also went beyond the public-health agency’s powers under the statute. It meant that, even if Bloomberg went back and got a better factual justification for it, he had no legal right to do it. The agency just plain lacked the power. It means that the powers that public-health agencies claim because of emergency dangers like a raging epidemic — they don’t get to rule by dictate about other elements of our life that are not emergencies.

Other coverage: New York Post, CBS New York, Moin Yahya, David Henderson. As the law’s effective date approached, city residents were learning more about its unpleasant effects on such everyday activities as ordering beverages to split with pizza delivery, mixers at nightclubs, table pitchers to serve kids’ birthday parties, and, most recently, coffee, the subject of a virally famous poster from the local Dunkin’ Donuts operation.

P.S. And now I’ve got a Daily Caller piece out on the decision. See follow-up post here.


  • Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy nanny.

  • Just a prelude of things to come. Obamacare has opened Pandora’s box giving would-be dictators like Bloomberg purpose to impose their will on us. Next thing you know, they will tax our extra pounds of body weight because its causing global climate change and costing taxpayers gazillions of dollars in healthcare benefits. Of course, loyalist will be provided waivers.

  • […] toward the ban). Coverage from yesterday, including my podcast with Cato’s Caleb Brown, here. NYU’s Rick Hills, as often happens, takes a different view. […]

  • Rejection of Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban may be the first step in curbing mayoral power…

    Colin Hedrick Legal Intern, Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy Tuesday, March 4, 2013: the day freedom died in New York City! That was going to be the original title of this post. While it may seem hyperbolic, it would……