The New York Court of Appeals struck down the NYC ban on the sale of large sugary drinks, upholding the Appellate Division decision. The Court based its decision on separation of powers, stating that
We hold that the New York City Board of Health, in adopting the “Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule”, exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority. By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the Board engaged in law-making and thus infringed upon the legislative jurisdiction of the City Council of New York.
This rule was proposed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and adopted by the NYC Board of Health in 2012. It proposed to amend Article 81 of the NYC Health Code to state that “[s]ugary drinks may not be sold or provided in cups or containers that can contain more than 16 fluid ounces,” and established a fine of $200 for each time the rule was violated by a food service establishment.
This rule was part of the effort by the NYC Obesity Task Force to combat obesity. The Court of Appeals suggested other ways the task force could accomplish its goals, including “instruction (i.e. health warnings on large containers or near vending machines) to outright prohibition.”
- John Caher, High Court Strikes Down City’s Sugary Drink Limits, New York Law Journal, June 27, 2014.
- Marlene Kennedy, Another Nail Hammered Into Sugary-Drink Ban, Courthouse News Service, June 27, 2014.
- Drink Up: NYC Ban on Big Sodas Canned, June 27, 2014.
- Sugary Drink Portion Cap Rule: Fact vs. Fiction, N.Y.C. Dept. of Health
- Sugary Drinks, N.Y.C. Dept. of Health.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.