Friday, August 10, 2012

Olive Hill hates soft drinks

While sitting here waiting on my wife and sipping the last of the Crown Royal Black I thought I would post another quick blast from Olive Hill's past.

Cincinnati Enquirer
May 24 1911
Frankfort Ky, May 23 - The Kentucky Court of Appeals to-day declared void an ordinance regulating the sale of soft drinks, passed by the council of Olive Hill, Ky.

OK, I found a link to the case which can be found in Volume 137 of the Southwestern Reporter. It begins on the right hand side with Tolliver vs. Blizzard police judge. There's alot of old timey legalese going on and is kinda hard for me to understand (or is it the Crown Royal?) but I think the last paragraph of the judgement clears up the matter a little:

(The ordinance) specifies certain soft drink which may be sold. The sale of all other soft drinks is prohibited. Among the number might be enumerated several soft drinks that are absolutely harmless. It will not do to say that the city council is the arbiter of public taste. It cannot prescribe what harmless drinks shall, or shall not, be sold. Its power to prohibit is confined to those drinks which are harmful or deleterious to the public health and morals. The ordinance before us is not restricted in its application. It prohibits the sale of many harmless drinks, and is so broad in its scope and so discriminatory in its character as to constitute an unlawful interference with the liberty of the citizen, which includes, not merely the right to acquire property, but the right to buy and sell it. That being true, we conclude the ordinance is unreasonable and void. 

While I was reading this I kept thinking "Harmless?" Going by what we know now about obesity ans diabetes I think the Olive Hill City Council may have been...dare I say it?...visionary in their attempts. It makes me wonder about what laws and ordinances being paraded before us now that we (I) scream will infringe our civil liberties will turn out to be a pretty good idea 100 years from now?

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