Sugar-Sweetened Drinks & The First Amendment
September 29, 2017
From coast to coast, cities have responded to products raising public health concerns with laws that are intended to compel consumers to make different purchasing decisions. These cities' motives, however altruistic, often cannot be squared with the limits of their authority and the constitutional rights of others. New York's attempt to ban the sale of certain high-sugar beverages in excess of 16 ounces was shut down by the courts a few years ago. More recently, San Francisco's effort to require tobacco-style health warnings on billboards and other large-scale outdoor advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages was enjoined from taking effect.