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Professor Forces Students To Lobby For Soda Restrictions

Nanny-state alert:

In a recent press release titled “Undergrads Required to Lobby for Obama Policy,” George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf explains how he will force his students to lobby the government in support of soda restrictions.

“The instructor … is already well known for requiring his law students  –  whom the press has dubbed ‘Banzhaf’s Bandits’  –  to bring legal actions in order to pass his law school course in Public Interest Law,” the release states. “But now he will be carrying his activist philosophy one step further by assigning homework in which undergrads will have to file a real legal document aimed at a major social problem – something which he suggests might be a first for any university.”

In particular, “some 200 undergrads will be asked to contact legislators in their home cities, counties, or states asking them to adopt legislation similar to that already adopted in New York City – and apparently to be considered in D.C., Cambridge, Mass, New York State, and perhaps elsewhere  – banning restaurants, delis, movie theaters and many other businesses from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces,” the release states.

But what of students who think the assignment is ridiculous? The Daily Caller’s Robby Soave reports:

“To appease students who may not wish to advocate the specific policy in place in New York City, Banzhaf supplied a list of substitute activities, which include:

  • Ban the sale of sugary soft drinks entirely
  • Ban the sale of sugary soft drinks to children
  • Put a special tax on sugary soft drinks; e.g., to reduce consumption and/or to fund counterads
  • Don’t exempt sugary soft drinks from the ordinary sales tax
  • Prohibit the sale of sugary soft drinks in vending machines
  • Mandate per-oz. pricing of sugary soft drinks in venues like fast food restaurants and movie theaters (i.e., a 32 oz. serving must cost at least twice as much as a 16 oz. serving)
  • Limit the maximum size for sugary soft drinks in venues like fast food restaurants and movie theaters (e.g., a single serving can be no more than 16 oz.).

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, pointed out that the list fails to accommodate students who may disagree with Banzhaf’s agenda.

“All the other examples given, however, involve alternative ways of extending regulation and taxation in the food and beverage realm,” he wrote. “Presumably any student that believes that the government should stay out of this area has had the foresight to drop the course.”

Banzhaf is a publicity hound known for repeatedly suing fast food companies for making people fat. He also achieved notoriety for suing the Catholic University of America over the university’s decision to implement single-sex dormitories.

Banzhaf did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.”

Professors love to force students to do things that promote the leftist educators’ agendas under the guise of “homework” and “well-rounded educations.” This is just another perfect example.

Not to mention, haven’t any of these soda-banning activists ever heard of free refills? The size of the cup doesn’t matter much.

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