New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants, movie theaters and other establishments was invalidated by a judge on Monday, the day before the new law was to take effect.
State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan called the regulation "arbitrary and capricious" and declared it invalid after the American Beverage Association and other business groups had sued the city challenging the ban.
The decision was a blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had touted the ban as a way to address what he has termed an obesity "epidemic." Beverage manufacturers and business groups had called the law an illegal overreach that would infringe upon consumers' personal liberty.
In case you missed Seth Goldman's excellent op/ed on the ban last summer, here it is. Remember that the ban is/was on drinks with more than 16 ounces. In light of that, here's one of Goldman's best paragraphs:
We initially went with 16.9 oz. (which is 500 milliliters) because it is a standard size that our bottle supplier had in stock at the time. We subsequently invested several hundred thousand dollars for 16.9 oz. bottle molds. Is 16.9 ounces the perfect size? Who knows? As a beverage marketer, we willingly submit to the unforgiving judgment of the market. What we did not anticipate was an arbitrary decision to constrain consumer choice.