At least in New York City, you still have the right to buy a sugary drink larger than 16 ounces, even if it kills you.
A Manhattan judge this afternoon tossed the city’s ban on selling large drinks, a day before it went into effect.
Here’s the full opinion.
Non-New Yorkers probably want to know if this decision carries any legal weight with other cities and states interesting in regulating soft drinks to reduce what many consider to be a epidemic of obesity.
The decision isn’t made on constitutional grounds — that is: do you have the right to buy a big slurpie, even if it might end up killing you.
Instead, it was made on rules in New York first put in place in the 1600s delegating who’s got the power to do what in the city.
But aside from the question of powers of elected officials, the underlying question in the decision is still a good one worth answering: Is obesity a disease that calls upon health officials to take drastic steps?