A New York state judge prevented New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg from carrying out his plan to make the city the laughing stock of the nation, and just in time.
The judge, Justice Milton Tingling, struck down the law proposed by Bloomberg that would have forbidden the sale of sugary beverages in sizes larger than 16 ounces on Monday, the day before the ban was set to take effect.
The rule, which has drawn derision from nearly everyone who heard it, would have limited an oddly specific set of beverages to 16 ounces, which would have excluded drinks that have less than 25 calories per eight ounces, fruit juices, or drinks that are at least half milk.
Bloomberg said that the law was not meant to prevent people from drinking large volumes of liquid, just to make them aware of the quantities, by forcing them to buy several cups.
"We're not banning anything," Bloomberg said. "It's called portion control.
"All we're doing in New York is reminding you that it's not in your interest to have too many empty calories. You can have some. If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. Take them back to your seat. If you want 64 ounces, take four cups back."
The judge’s justification for striking the rule down was not so much the law’s intent, but rather its ineffectiveness with all of the exceptions it left open, which "effectively defeat the stated purpose,” Tingling wrote.
The mayor’s office was disappointed with the news, but swore to appeal the decision and to continue to fight for stricter controls on the empty calories consumed by the residents of the city.
Bloomberg’s office’s Twitter account followed the decision with a series of tweets explaining his views on the decision.
“Mayor: If we’re serious about fighting obesity, we have to be honest about what causes it and have the courage to tackle it head-on.”
“Mayor: Being the first to do something is never easy. When we began this process, we knew we’d face lawsuits. That’s America.”
“Mayor: Obesity kills. There's just no question about it.”