BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
The tension between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the courts over the proposed soda ban are continuing to fizz.
The Mayor’s Office announced that the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and National Association of Local Boards of Health have filed an amicus brief in support of the ban, citing links between the consumption of soft drinks and obesity.
An amicus (literally, friend of the court) is when an outside party files to give their legal opinion on any legal matter.
The first amicus, led by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health argues the scientific link between soft drink consumption and chronic diseases such as obesity, specifically focusing on how it affects underprivileged communities.
The second amicus argues the legality of the soda ban and will be led by the National Association of Local Boards of Health.
“The compelling amicus briefs being submitted [Thursday] further confirm the significant support this important health initiative has among the medical community as well as the community at large,” said Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo of the New York City Law Department. “We believe that the appellate court will find that the Board of Health’s authority to adopt initiatives such as the portion cap rule for the protection of the health of New Yorkers is supported by decades of case law and explicit text in the New York City Charter.”
The two now join Comunilife, Montefiore Medical Center, Harlem Health Promotion Center, National Congress of Black Women, Inc., New York Chapter, ChangeLab Solutions, Rudd Center, Public Health Association of New York City and Public Health Law Center as outside parties supporting the ban.
“The organizations and individuals who have joined these amicus briefs understand the toll that obesity is taking on communities here in New York City and across the nation,” said Bloomberg. “Our plan to limit the portion size of sugary drinks is a sensible step that has won increasing levels of support from the public health community, and these two amicus briefs will help us make our case to the court.”