Justice Milton Tingling Slaps Down El Bloombito’s Super-Size Soda Ban
New York State Supreme Court Judge Milton Adair Tingling Jr. all but slapped the 16-ounce beverage out of the self-righteous hand of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and replaced it with one that holds double that amount and more.
Just when El Bloombito was about to regulate Xtreme Big Gulp-style drinks out of the Big Apple by prohibiting the sale of sugar-laden drinks larger than 16 ounces – but only in some places – along comes Milton and shuts Mike down.
Not only did Tingling, a former cabbie and subway conductor, eradicate the ridiculous prohibition, he permanently stopped the city from enforcing the ban set to go into effect in mid-March. Much to the chagrin of City Hall, Milton’s ruling stated:
“[The city] is enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations.”
Judge Tingling made it plain that as far as he is concerned, Mike and the Board of Health “overstepped their bounds, to enforce rules that should be established by the legislative bodies.” Tingling wrote, “The rule would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it. Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened drinks.”
Wow. Milton ‘Wary of Government’s Power‘ Tingling summed up perfectly what liberals from Barack Obama on down to Michael Bloomberg fail to grasp, which is that most of their regulations are more troubling than whatever they’re trying to regulate.
The sharp dressed judge continued in his opinion on the Bloomberg beverage ban:
It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule, including but not limited to no limitations on refills, defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule.
Somewhere along the line, Judge Tingling must have figured out that Michael Bloomberg is just a typical liberal. And the one thing liberals are expert at is “arbitrary and capricious” disembowelment of established freedoms.
Tingling was particularly perturbed about who would be forced to submit to the diktats and who would be immune to the “arbitrary and capricious” regulations. But then again, liberals playing favorites is nothing new, and neither is exempting themselves from what they impose on everyone else.
Just as Congress, unions, and many large companies received waivers from the Obamacare health mandate, supermarkets and large chain stores were to be excused from the city’s large-soda ban.
Small food markets and “mom-and-pop bodegas” would have had to enforce the 16-ounce ban. In other words, if not for Judge Tingling stepping in and telling Bloomberg where to stuff his 32-ounce veto, as usual, the small business owner would have to take it on the chin. So instead of getting your l.5 liter size Jarritos Mandarina Soft Drink at a corner bodega, under Mike’s ban, soda pop addicts could go two doors down to 7-Eleven for a Double Big Gulp, or if your Gigundo Diabetic Shock Guzzle libation of choice contained 50% milk and 50% pure corn syrup, that got a pass too.
“The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole … the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.” There it is! Another liberal attempt at control has so many ambiguities in it that it defeats the purpose of the restriction.
Most importantly, the judge’s ruling sent the egotistical mayor a stern message that he couldn’t just go around impetuously enacting laws based on personal conviction. According to Judge Tingling, the “public-health debate should clearly be in the hands of lawmakers like the City Council or state legislature.”
The Judge’s rather clever and somewhat scolding ruling stated:
“Those bodies have never refused to take up this weighty matter.”
So why, Mr. Mayor, are you trying to usurp that role?
“There is no rational argument purporting to demonstrate legislative inaction in this area.”
There’s also “no rational argument” for banning 32-ounce sodas when people can repeatedly refill a 16-ounce cup.
Justice Tingling concluded by saying that “Addressing the obesity issue as it related to sugar-sweetened drinks, or sugary drinks, is the subject of past and ongoing debate with the city and state legislatures.” In other words, El Bloombito, butt out.
The judge rebuked the meddling mayor for stepping in and taking over the role of policymaker – a role that was not his to take. After being publicly spanked, Mayor Bloomberg was all but sent to his room and barred from further assuming the role of New York City health care czar. Where Judge Tingling stands on ear bud volume remains to be seen.
As would be expected, the mayor’s office, via New York Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, said it would appeal the judge’s decision.
Despite the ruling, the fight is far from over! Cardozo stressed that “This measure is part of the City’s multi-pronged effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic, which takes the lives of more than 5,000 New Yorkers every year, and we believe the Board of Health has the legal authority – and responsibility – to tackle its leading causes.”
In a city of eight million people, thank God Judge Milton Tingling saved the other 7,995,000 living, breathing New Yorkers from an authoritarian mayor’s megalomaniacal attempt to exert power over a decision that’s not his to make.