Free Minds & Free Markets

New York’s Big Soda Ban Is Truly Dead

Another round of Mountain Dew to celebrate!Credit: Justin Masterson / photo on flickrNew York's top state court made it official today: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's Board of Health exceeded their authority in attempting to ban the sales certain kinds of sugary drinks from certain locations in sizes greater than 16 ounces. The ban is dead.

The ruling shouldn't come as a surprise. These guys have lost other court battles along the way. Baylen Linnekin documented the travails and problems with the attempted ban earlier this month. His coverage (and our previous coverage of soda banning efforts here) highlight the fact that this fight is actually over separation of powers, not Nanny State–style regulation. Though the ban is dead, it could return if brought through the proper channels—a New York City Council vote. Linnekin has doubts such an attempt would actually succeed. But in The New York Times, the city's health commissioner expressed an unwillingness to treat human beings as though they are actually capable of making their own lifestyle choices:

"We will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes by seeking to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods," wrote the commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

It's the marketing that makes us want to eat bad things! Not our own cravings and desires. Such thinking is mandatory when you embrace nanny state governmental actions. In order to bypass the argument that people have the right to decide what to put in their body, nannies have to convince themselves that evil advertisers and food corporations are somehow reprogramming people to make decisions the nannies don't like.

Below, find some refreshment with Reason TV's Nanny of the Month award for Bloomberg back in 2012 for the ban and exult in his failure:

Photo Credit: Justin Masterson / photo on flickr

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Good, good...were there any other important court decisions today?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Now the squirrels are blocking the *staff* from covering other court rulings!

  • Brandon||

    What are you talking about?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Abortion clinic buffer zone ruling - I'll wait for the P.M. links if they still let me post.

  • Brandon||

    I know. First Amendment victory that even Kagan couldn't doublethink her way out of. I'm just wondering why you are so obsessed with that when these other cases are just as legitimate topics of discussion.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Because it's a First Amendment victory that even Kagan couldn't doublethink her way out of?

    And in my case, because the demonstrators here testified that their peaceful persuasion saved babies' lives.

  • Zeb||

    In case you haven't noticed, he's somewhat obsessed with abortion.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I've also been observing something of a moratorium on the topic lately, but here is a dispute on this whole issue which was decided in the Supreme Court.

    Will you indulge me far enough as to allow me to address this situation?

  • Brandon||

    No. If Reason goes the entire day, maybe you can start bitching about it, but you can't claim to have been observing a moratorium on it while complaining that they aren't addressing it RIGHT THIS SECOND!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I'm not observing the moratorium today, duh.

  • Acosmist||

    Brandon's butthurt is pretty epic.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I'm having a Mountain Dew throwback for breakfast in honor of this.

  • Doctor Whom||

    the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing

    Marketing (unlike government) is coercive. Freedom is slavery. Up is down.

  • Slammer||

    But what about the children? Waaaah!!!

  • Alex H||

    When your lifestyle choices begin to affect my wallet then maybe there should be a little oversight of those who think ingesting 6 64oz Coke's per day will not lead to one of 20 chronic diseases that will land you in the hospital on my dime.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Obvious solution is obvious. Otherwise, government would be empowered to have "a little oversight" of any potentially unhealthful behavior, and we all know how well that's worked in the past.

  • Slammer||

    Who should we put in charge of enforcing "lifestyle choices"?

  • wheelock||

    The wheels on the bus go round and round... Sigh...

  • Jordan||

    Then stop fucking paying. Should we ban people from skiing? Rock climbing?

  • Jensen||

    This seems like a good argument against nationalized healthcare, not a good argument for soda bans.

  • Brandon||

    Well said, Alex. This is the best justification for the abolition of welfare, socialized healthcare, taxation and subsidies that I have heard yet. That is what you meant, right?

  • anon||

    When your lifestyle choices begin to affect my wallet then maybe there should be a little oversight of those who think ingesting 6 64oz Coke's per day will not lead to one of 20 chronic diseases that will land you in the hospital on my dime.

    Obviously this means that I should tell you what to do and when to do it. It's the only way.

  • R C Dean||

    Alex, I'm sure, will have no objection when we require everyone living in urban areas to ride bikes to work, prohibit the sale of more than a specified ration of meat, sugar, and salt, and require one hour of exercise a day from everyone, as verified by government health monitors.

    Right, Alex?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Nobody needs more than 25 g of chocolate per week.

  • anon||

    You haven't met my wife.

  • Riven||

    I have more than that by noon...

  • ||

    Since your lifestyle choices affect my wallet, I'm sure you have no problem with me sending armed agents to follow you around and watch everything you do, requiring their approval before you so much as buy a cup of coffee or drive a car. Or wait! I've got a better idea. How bout we concentrate on the part about your lifestyle choices affecting my wallet in the first place.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    In case it hasn't become clear to you, most people here would love to keep our lifestyle choices from affecting your wallet--and vice versa.

  • ||

    She can't give it up. She's bought into her own superiority too much and is now on a great crusade to save the peasants from themselves.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Why can't this lady just leave people alone?

    Public officials have lost the fear of tar and feathers.

  • ||

    What does she gain personally? Why, the moral certitude that she knows better than you and is saving you. I think CS Lewis said it best...

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

  • Colonel Slanders||

    ^^ This.

  • Rhywun||

    What does she gain personally by pursuing a goal that is not popular with the citizenry, her colleagues, or the courts?

    Progressive street cred.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    She is free to rail against bad ideas all she wants.

  • R C Dean||

    Not on the taxpayer's dime, she's not.

  • Brandon||

    She gets to maintain her feeling of smug sanctimony without any need for inconvenient self reflection.

  • anon||

    The worst part is none of these "But I care!" cuntwads ever stops to think that just -maybe- I don't consider life worth living if I have to eat fucking tofu all day every day.

  • Rhywun||

    Sure they do - in fact, they're counting on it.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "What does she gain personally by pursuing a goal that is not popular with the citizenry, her colleagues, or the courts?"

    Well, you see, people might snicker if she wore her leather boustier and fishnets in public. Not to mention the crop. This way she can get her freak on and still be "respectable".

  • Robert||

    She's playing to the "public health" community, not politicians, voters, jurists, scientists, journalists, or practically anybody else.

  • Brandon||

    Does this overturn Bloomberg's place in heaven?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    He can always appeal!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    (nb - I am criticizing his attitude, not speculating on his post-mortem fate)

  • perlhaqr||

    Pfff. Bloomberg has no appeal.

  • anon||

    I suppose the one good thing Government has going for it is that there's always someone else that wants power too.


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