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Bloomberg’s soda ban falls flat in latest ruling from the courts

AP Photo/Richard Drew
By Kevin Zimmerman

Despite its second loss in court, the Bloomberg administration vowed Tuesday to continue its fight to limit sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less.

“We firmly disagree with the court’s reasoning and will seek to appeal to the [state] Court of Appeals as quickly as possible,” Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said in a statement. “There is broad precedent for the Board of Health to adopt significant measures to protect New Yorkers’ public health.”

The Appellate Division, First Department issued an unanimous ruling Tuesday stating Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city Health Department violated the “principle of separation of powers” when creating the ban.

This week’s decision follows a March ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling, who said Bloomberg and the city Board of Health overstepped their jurisdictions when proposing the ban.

The Appellate Division’s ruling upheld Tingling’s decision.

“Like the Supreme Court, we conclude that in promulgating this regulation the Board of Health failed to act within the bounds of its lawfully delegated authority,” wrote Justice Dianne Renwick.

Following the ruling, the mayor reiterated his belief that sugary drinks remain the key factor in an obesity epidemic that kills 5,000 New Yorkers each year.

“Since New York City’s groundbreaking limit on the portion size of sugary beverages was prevented from going into effect on March 12, more than 2,000 New Yorkers have died from the effects of diabetes,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic.”

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