After a judged rejected the legitimacy of a soda ban— that looked to outlaw most sweet beverages over 16-ounces at city-licensed eateries—in March, the city has appealed.
On Tuesday four justices from a state appeals court looked to determine whether health officials exceeded their authority in instituting the ban.
The ban was originally was struck down in March by a lower-court judge, due to loopholes that would undermine health benefits while applying to some businesses and not others, CBS reported. The regulation, for example, won’t apply at supermarkets or most convenience stores, and some beverages, such as milk and alcohol-based beverages are excluded from the size limits regardless of sugar content.
During oral arguments in the case Tuesday, the judges repeatedly challenged city attorney Fay Ng to defend the rule’s scientific and legal underpinnings, CBS reported.
Justice David Friedman said the city appeared to be asking for unprecedented authority to regulate all sorts of portion sizes, including “the number of doughnuts a person could eat, the number of scoops of ice cream” and number of servings of fried chicken.
Meanwhile, Justice Dianne Renwick repeated asked if the 16-ounce size limit was scientifically arbitrary, given that it is based on liquid volume rather than a measure of how much sugar is actually in a beverage. The limit, she noted, meant that some drinks with high amounts of sugar would be allowed, while others with less sweetener would be banned, CBS reported.
The court did not indicate when it might make its ruling.