Yesterday afternoon, we were seriously busy writing up a post entitled “The Basics To Today’s Soda Ban” a la the one we wrote for the recent MetroCard hike. It was meant to be a symbolic post, an end to the drama revolving around this damn ban and a settlement on its intended enactment this fateful morning in March. But then yesterday happened.
As you probably have heard by now, a New York Supreme Court judge named Milton Tingling Jr. (who just happened to preside over a case involving fizz) struck down the soda ban, arguing that the bill was “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.” Yes, the day before the soda ban was to take effect, it was struck down for its obvious loopholes – all of which led Bloomberg to demand Albany take on a statewide ban.
So what happens next? How long do we have our Big Gulps for now? Is all hope lost for City Hall to have its anti-pop way?
After the court’s decision hit headlines, Mayor Bloomberg moved his press conference – originally set for this morning – to yesterday afternoon. Once again, he supported his “ground-breaking yet sometimes controversial” measures, arguing that the ban would “tackle [obesity] head on.” And then proceeded to defend government intervention on behalf of New Yorkers for their tendency to buy oversized drinks.
You can watch his entire press conference here.
To back that up, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley released this statement to reiterate the whole ‘obesity’ thing:
“Without a portion cap on sugary drinks, it would be harder to tackle an obesity epidemic that kills more New Yorkers than anything other than smoking and causes misery for many thousands more who suffer from heart disease, diabetes and other debilitating illnesses. Sugary drinks are a leading cause of this epidemic. Today’s decision threatens the health of New Yorkers, but we are confident that we will win on appeal.”
Following suit, the City Hall Twitter account announced the next step of the way:
We plan to appeal the sugary drinks decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the measure will ultimately be upheld.
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) March 11, 2013
One follower responded, “girlll don’t try it.”
The call for an appeal echoes the administration’s expectations that the ban will be upheld in the end. However, as we all know, the appeals process takes a while; Judge Tingling’s decision must now face a higher legal standard, involving another set of eyes to take a look at this unprecedented move.
Instead of the three month grace period the soda ban would have given to restaraunts before they had to trash all 16-oz.-plus beverages, the soda fans can hold their breath for a bit. So plan on this thing being dragged out until the legal system makes a move.
The Voice will keep you updated.