In a New York Daily News piece that just went up, I explain why Michael Bloomberg's response to the ruling against his big beverage ban misses the point:
Since last May, when Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his improbable plan to shrink New Yorkers’ waistlines by shrinking their drink sizes, he has argued that his big beverage ban would not meaningfully interfere with people’s choices but nevertheless would have a substantial impact on calorie consumption. That contradiction, along with the busybody billionaire’s sweeping view of what regulators may do in the name of promoting public health, proved to be his undoing.
This week Justice Milton Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, responding to a lawsuit by soda makers and sellers, ruled that Bloomberg’s drink diktat, which would have imposed a 16-ounce limit on servings of sugar-sweetened beverages, was so riddled with loopholes that it qualified as “arbitrary and capricious” under state law. Tingling also concluded that the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health exceeded its legal authority by enacting the mayor’s proposal, which he should have brought to the City Council instead. Bloomberg’s response, which boils down to asserting that his regulations are legal because "people are dying" from obesity-related diseases, dodges both of these issues.
Read the whole thing here.