Florida’s Tea Party governor, Rick Scott, has pretty much been a disaster. One of his worst initiatives was to institute drug testing for anyone receiving welfare benefits.
Not only is this a gross violation of privacy rights, it also perpetuates our insane drug war and wastes taxpayer money at a time when budgets are being savaged.
A federal judge was not impressed with the new law:
A federal judge temporarily blocked Florida’s new law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits on Monday, saying it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.
Judge Mary Scriven ruled in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test. The judge said there was a good chance plaintiff Luis Lebron would succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from being unfairly searched.
The drug test can reveal a host of private medical facts about the individual, Scriven wrote, adding that she found it “troubling” that the drug tests are not kept confidential like medical records. The results can also be shared with law enforcement officers and a drug abuse hotline.
“This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a `far more substantial’ invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases,” said Scriven, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Hopefully he’s right and this idiotic law will be held unconstitutional.
Tags: drug testing, drug tests, Drug War, failed War on Drugs, Fourth Amendment, Fourth Amendment protections, Fourth Amendment searches, Fourth Amendment violations, idiotic Drug War, Judge Mary Scriven, Rick Scott, Rick Scott privacy, right to privacy, unconstitutional search, unreasonable drug tests, unreasonable search, War on Drugs, welfare drug tests