June 26, 2014

"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."

Says the New York Court of Appeals (New York's highest court). PDF.
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.
ADDED: "Mayor Bill de Blasio, a frequent critic of Mr. Bloomberg but a supporter of the soda proposal, said he was 'extremely disappointed' by the latest decision, saying it was 'irrefutable' that sugary drinks has detrimental effects on health. The mayor said he would review other options for the city to combat obesity, but his team did not immediately specify what steps might be taken."

Of course, the judicial opinion has nothing to do with whether "sugary" drinks — gah, I hate that adjective — are detrimental to health. It's about the structure of governmental power. 

"Sugary" annoys me, by the way, because it is not the right word for what is covered by the regulation, which defined the term to mean "sweetened by the manufacturer or establishment with sugar or another calorie sweetener; . . . has greater than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces of beverage; . . . [and] does not contain more than 50 percent of milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient."

"Sugary" refers to the intensity of the sweetness, and most soda that was covered isn't very sweet. Cola and lemon-lime sodas are only a bit sweet, much less tasting than some juices with no added sugar (like pineapple juice) and coffee drinks made with milk or chocolate milk.


traditionalguy said...

A silly archaic elected City Council thwarted the King's own bureaucrats.

Oh my! That's like Congress asserting power over the EPA.

Levi Starks said...

Obama is only concerned with today.
The Supreme Court (including the left leaning side of the bench) can envision a future republican president.
They are not willing take the risk, that some unnamed future president could do even worse damage than the current occupant of the whitehouse.

mesquito said...

5'11". 145 pounds. 29" waist. 36 ounces of sugary death-serum each and every goddam day.

Levi Starks said...

When government steps in to keep people from harming themselves, It usually winds up harming them.

Larry J said...

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.

Well, there's that. How about the fact that a bunch of nanny-statist panty-waists infringed on the rights of the people of New York City? Does it only count that they overstepped their bounds in regards to the city council?

khesanh0802 said...

Add this to the day's SCOTUS rulings and one might think that sanity is returning in small portions.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

I'll drink to that!

rhhardin said...

The last time I looked, long ago, chocolate milk was mostly corn syrup.

Anonymous said...

It's also irrefutable that alcoholic beverages have a deleterious effect on health if consumed in enough quantity (remember, this law was about quantity sold, not about an outright ban). I doubt there are any metrics one could marshal to argue that overconsumption of soda is more damaging to individual health and to society in the effects radiating therefrom. And yet... they didn't attempt to limit alcohol consumption. Why?

kcom said...

"gah, I hate that adjective "

I'm with you on that. It's a stupid, juvenile description and adults ought to be embarrassed to let those words pass their lips.

But, of course, what is far more troubling is the thought process behind DeBlasio's statement, which is essentially "laws are irrelevant as long as one's intentions are good." What a non-sequitur of an answer to the court.

The more these self-selected group of do-gooders have moved into positions of power the greater our basic freedoms have been put at risk. Who do they think they are, really? The arrogance of their "I know what's best for you and you don't have any say in it" attitude is just disgusting. You can go back and raise your own children and leave us the hell alone.

n.n said...

It isn't high-capacity sugary drinks which are the problem. It is people's liberal consumption of sugary drinks which is the problem. Moderate your consumption of sugary drinks... and everything else.

Oh, and get off the couch. People aren't potatoes and our health demands reflect that structural divergence.

Kirk Parker said...

Mayor de Blasio:

Sit down and shut up. The "city" shouldn't be "combating obesity" in the first place.