New York City officials urged the state’s top court on Wednesday to reinstate the city’s ban on big sodas, arguing that the Board of Health has authority to restrict products that make people obese and cause disease.
The 2012 ban against peddling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, delis, theaters, stadiums and street carts was overturned by the lower courts the same week the ban was to take effect. It was pushed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and since backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Several judges questioned where the board would draw the line. One asked whether triple-decker burgers would be next. Another questioned the limit in light of exclusions like mixed coffee drinks loaded with more than 800 calories.
The board’s decision was not arbitrary and is based on science, the city said, adding that it isn’t a ban, only a limit on cup size.
Richard Bress, an attorney for the plaintiffs, argued that the Board of Health lacks authority for such a policy decision and would need the City Council to first authorize it. Many council members had opposed it.
The Court of Appeals is expected to rule in July.