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Sweet victory: Judge rules NYC soda ban illegal!

  • New York City ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces was supposed to start Tuesday
  • Judge calls the ban 'arbitrary and capricious'
Judge rules New York City's ban on sugary drinks is illegal.

Here's something that'll really quench the thirst of Big Gulp lovers in New York City: A state Supreme Court judge has ruled that the ban on large sugary beverages is not legal, calling it "arbitrary and capricious."

"The court finds that the regulation herein is laden with exceptions based on economic and political concerns," Justice Milton Tingling wrote in the decision.

The ban was supposed to go into effect on Tuesday. Restaurants weren't supposed to sell anything over 16 ounces unless it's sugar-free. The city was willing to give them three months to adjust to the new rule.

The American Beverage Association joined other business associations in bringing the lawsuit. They said the rules would disproportionately hurt small, minority-owned businesses.

Starbucks had already shrugged off the restrictions, saying they were exempt since their drinks are customizable and it's the customers who add the sugar.

More from CNN food blog Eatocracy: New York City restaurants find ways to skirt soda ban

The new ruling is a major setback for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has backed several laws aimed at New Yorkers' health. The mayor's office has already said it plans to appeal the decision:

Watch Evening Express weeknights 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

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