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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Emperor" Bloomberg's Soda Ban Foiled By The Courts Again

In a few minutes, when my wife and I disembark the ship to enter Skagway, Alaska we will each have a giant glass of soda to celebrate (btw--Skagway is a Native American word meaning tourist trap).

Today an appeals court told the Mommy Mayor that his ban on drinking large sodas was unconstitutional. In June 2012,  Bloomberg, the wannabe Emperor and Mayor of the City of New York announced his plans to implement a ban on large sodas and other sugary drinks in virtually every place but the home. His administration banned  the sale of these beverages in containers that are more than 16-fluid ounces. In February we found out new rules were part of his ban, rules that which put a damper on pizza deliveries, birthday parties and even mixed drinks sold at bars and clubs.

Previously Bloombergs attack on freedom included a ban on trans fats in NYC restaurants,  a rule that fast food and other chain restaurants publicly post the number of calories in their meals and a and order to city-run hospitals to lock up the baby formula-- pushing new mothers to nurse whether they choose to or not.  

But today is a victory for Freedom.  According to the State's Supreme Court's Appellate Division, the Soda ban"violated the state principle of separation of powers."  The unanimous four-judge panel at the appeals court found that the City's Health Dept. stepped beyond its power to regulate public health and usurped the policy-making role of the legislature.

The court focused on the law's loopholes, which exempted businesses not under the auspices of the city's health department and left certain drinks, such as milk-based beverages, unaffected.

As a result, grocery and convenience stores - such as 7 Eleven and its 64-ounce Big Gulp - were protected from the ban's reach, even as restaurants, sandwich shops and movie theaters were not. Meanwhile, milkshakes and high-calorie coffee drinks like Starbucks' Frappucinos would have remained unfettered.

"The exceptions did not ... reflect the agency's charge to protect public health but instead reflected the agency's own policy decisions regarding balancing the relative importance of protecting public health with ensuring the economic viability of certain industries," Justice Dianne Renwick wrote for the court.
The Emperor-wannabe  Bloomberg said the decision was a "temporary setback" and vowed to appeal to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. He also said that more than 2,000 New Yorkers had died from diabetes since March 12, when the law was struck down just one day before it was to take effect.

The point is however, it is not government's job to protect people from themselves. The government has no financial interest in telling someone what they can eat.  Not even a financial interest as Jonah Goldberg explained in his  book, The Tyranny of Cliches (a must read):

Think about it--nearly every person who dies before they retire saves society money, because that way the government gets to pocket their Social Security and Medicare tax payments without paying anything back out. Moreover, the older you get, the more medical costs accumulate. From a purely actuarial perspective, all of these people...who claim that our health-care system needs to be reformed because our life expectancy is too low (its not) miss the point that if we dramatically increased life expectancy in this country we would lose money on the deal, because that would mean dramatically increasing the length of time old people collect retirement benefits and increasing the number of claims they make on the health-care system.
In other words "the state" has no interest in keeping us healthy. The only reason for these rules is that Bloomberg's progressive policies direct him to tell people how to live their lives. This is not the supposed to be the role of our government per the US Constitution, a document I suspect the Mommy Mayor cares very little about.


Tom said...


Good article on our ever expanding "Nanny State." Being a native born Devil's Advocate, I'll ask you to consider this: We all want the right to eat what we want, as often as we want. When we do so, and suffer from the poor health that such behavior enables, we then demand the right to force taxpayers to pay for our poor judgement, which will continue unabated. See what I'm getting at?

Tom said...

I should have continued: That since people are killing themselves (on the installment plan) with food, and expecting/demanding that the government (taxpayers) to pay for their health care, the government (taxpayer) does have an interest in telling us what and how much to eat. Make sense?

Sorry for the confusion!

Unknown said...

Tom allow me to suggest that you look at the quote from Jonah Goldberg again

Unknown said...

Banning large sodas to fight obesity is like throwing a glass of water on a house fire. It is exercise and eating correctly but in America we support people who are lazy and get fat. We give them food stamps, unemployment, health benefits and special parking (handicap) just because they stuff their faces with fattening food and sit around all day. Stop making it easy for them and that may make them change. this will never happen in America but maybe something like a narrow entrance way into fast food restaurants or any place that is desirable to go. Can't fit in the entrance then loose weight.

James at