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City Appeals Soda Ban Decision

By Ben Fractenberg | March 12, 2013 5:01pm

MURRAY HILL — The city appealed a state judge's last-minute block on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's soda ban Tuesday, as Bloomberg showed up at a restaurant that decided to voluntarily stop selling large sugary drinks.

Bloomberg hailed businesses that took it upon themselves to stop serving sweetened drinks larger that 16 ounces, a day after a New York Supreme Court Judge put the kibosh on the sweeping rule that would have forced restaurants, fast-food joints, movie theaters and stadiums to participate.

Judge Milton Tingling ruled Monday that the ban was unconstitutional because it would be applied in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner.

''It was not a setback for me. It was a setback for the people who are dying,'' Bloomberg said Tuesday at Lucky's Café on 34th Street and First Avenue. ''We just think the judge was totally wrong. You don't wait until people are dead and then try to educate them.''

The city's formal appeal, filed Tuesday, did not go into detail about the mayor's reasoning for the ban or why Tingling's ruling was incorrect, except to say "The Supreme Court's decision is contrary to law."

While Monday's ruling is being fought, Bloomberg asked that "all restaurateurs to do the responsible thing and voluntarily serve portion sizes that are appropriate.''

The groups who sued to block the soda ban, including the The American Beverage Association and the National Restaurant Association, lauded Tingling's decision, saying it "provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban."