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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Phhht to the nanny state

You can have my Big Gulp when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries was rejected by a state appeals court on Tuesday, which said he had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban.

The law, which would have prohibited those businesses from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces (473 ml), "violated the state principle of separation of powers," the First Department of the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division said.

What's especially gratifying is the reason the court overturned the ban. By moving to impose the ban even though the legislative branch hadn't been able to decide on the issue, the mayor and his appointed health board violated the state's separation-of-powers principle.

Alas, this is probably a temporary, even illustory, victory. Preemptive action by executive decree without legal, moral or constitutional authority has become the order of the day, especially at the federal level.

Oh, and Bloomberg says he won't give up, of course, and he hints at steps his going to take, including trying to persuade people to pressure the legislature to act. Wow, representative government in action. What a concept!