Tingling wrote in his opinion that the soda rules would apply "only to some food establishments ... but not others, like convenience stores." Tingling also wrote that customers refilling sodas, even if the cup is smaller than 16 ounces, would "defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule."
The campaign for size limits on sodas was spearheaded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Tingling questioned the Bloomberg administration's view on the scope of power afforded to the city's Board of Health under the justification of bettering public health. Tingling stated that "interpretation would leave its authority to define, create, mandate and enforce limited only by its own imagination and create an administrative Leviathan."
According to the Times, a group composed of the city's movie theater workers praised Tingling's decision.
"Serious problems like obesity cannot be addressed by the imposition of an arbitrary and porous Mayoral fiat," wrote Matthew Greller, a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State. "This issue was never about obesity, nor about soda. This was all about power."
Stunned by Tingling's ruling, the Bloomberg administration stated they would challenge the decision.