ACLU sues to stop Florida welfare drug tests

C_Clayton_Jones

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A new Florida law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test violates their constitutional rights, the American Civil Liberties Union is charging in a lawsuit.

The suit asserts that the mandatory drug testing is a violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

ACLU sues to stop Florida welfare drug tests - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com
And legal precedent is on the side of those filing suit:

Policies like Florida's will almost certainly end up in court - and there is a good chance that they will be struck down. The Fourth Amendment puts strict limits on what kind of searches the state can carry out, and drug tests are considered to be a search. In 1997, in Chandler v. Miller, the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to strike down a Georgia law requiring candidates for state offices to pass a drug test.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish "personal privacy for a symbol's sake," the court said.

Drug testing welfare applicants does not seem to meet the Chandler test since there is no particular safety reason to be concerned about drug use by welfare recipients. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan's drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.

Is Drug Testing Welfare Applicants Unconstitutional? - Yahoo! News
 

martybegan

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A new Florida law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test violates their constitutional rights, the American Civil Liberties Union is charging in a lawsuit.

The suit asserts that the mandatory drug testing is a violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

ACLU sues to stop Florida welfare drug tests - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com
And legal precedent is on the side of those filing suit:

Policies like Florida's will almost certainly end up in court - and there is a good chance that they will be struck down. The Fourth Amendment puts strict limits on what kind of searches the state can carry out, and drug tests are considered to be a search. In 1997, in Chandler v. Miller, the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to strike down a Georgia law requiring candidates for state offices to pass a drug test.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish "personal privacy for a symbol's sake," the court said.

Drug testing welfare applicants does not seem to meet the Chandler test since there is no particular safety reason to be concerned about drug use by welfare recipients. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan's drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.

Is Drug Testing Welfare Applicants Unconstitutional? - Yahoo! News
I dont see how this would be unconsitutional. You are actively using a government service (hand out) that you are not consitutionally obligated to. The state is well within its means to require certain standards to be met.

This isnt random testing of a citizen. When you apply for something like this you are limited by the requirements of the grant.

The public office holder case does not apply here, as that is basically a job.

This is the dispensing of actual cash. Avioding the argument on the merits of basically handing out money to people, the state has an interest in seeing it is spent only on needed items, specifically where children are involved.
 

Moonglow

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In a 1997 ruling from Georgia by the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, "The Fourth Amendment precludes suspicionless search... the drug test diminishes personal privacy."
Michigan supreme court also ruled the same.
 

martybegan

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It does violate the fourth amendment.
How so? Notice the burden is "unreasonable." How is it unreasonable to ask a person getting CASH from the government, in return for no service, to prove they are clean of drugs? You have to apply to the program to be considered for the testing. Doesnt the state have a vested interest in not seeing cash it hands out spent on illegal drugs?

I have a better idea, stop giving out cash. If you are on the dole, you get vouchers for things, no cash.
 
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rdean

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Considering the very tiny number of people found to be on drugs, every test makes the Republican governor look more and more stupid. The ACLU is unknowingly protecting Republicans.
 

hippie2049

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How so? Notice the burden is "unreasonable." How is it unreasonable to ask a person getting CASH from the government, in return for no service, to prove they are clean of drugs? You have to apply to the program to be considered for the testing. Doesnt the state have a vested interest in not seeing cash it hands out spent on illegal drugs?

I have a better idea, stop giving out cash. If you are on the dole, you get vouchers for things, no cash.
to prove they are clean of drugs?

When did the burden shift to Americans to prove they did not commit a crime?

Being poor is not probable cause.
 

Missourian

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How so? Notice the burden is "unreasonable." How is it unreasonable to ask a person getting CASH from the government, in return for no service, to prove they are clean of drugs? You have to apply to the program to be considered for the testing. Doesnt the state have a vested interest in not seeing cash it hands out spent on illegal drugs?

I have a better idea, stop giving out cash. If you are on the dole, you get vouchers for things, no cash.
to prove they are clean of drugs?

When did the burden shift to Americans to prove they did not commit a crime?

Being poor is not probable cause.

No one is being forced to submit to a drug screen.

You are only required to take the drug screen as a prerequisite to participate in the program.

Not at all unconstitutional.

What you are proving is that the money you are receiving for free is not being used to support a drug habit.
 

Missourian

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Considering the very tiny number of people found to be on drugs, every test makes the Republican governor look more and more stupid. The ACLU is unknowingly protecting Republicans.

Because the people who couldn't pass the test didn't show up.

Only 6% of the population couldn't figure that out on their own...congratulations.
 

martybegan

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How so? Notice the burden is "unreasonable." How is it unreasonable to ask a person getting CASH from the government, in return for no service, to prove they are clean of drugs? You have to apply to the program to be considered for the testing. Doesnt the state have a vested interest in not seeing cash it hands out spent on illegal drugs?

I have a better idea, stop giving out cash. If you are on the dole, you get vouchers for things, no cash.
to prove they are clean of drugs?

When did the burden shift to Americans to prove they did not commit a crime?

Being poor is not probable cause.
As missourian said, you can be poor on your own all you want, the SECOND you ask for help from the government, you have to play by thier rules.
 

Care4all

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you are innocent, until proven guilty in this country marty.... presumed guilty until proven innocent is not MY COUNTRY!
 

Missourian

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you are innocent, until proven guilty in this country marty.... presumed guilty until proven innocent is not MY COUNTRY!

I have to take a random drug screen or alcohol screen at any time per government regulations, and have a medical physical every two years per government regulation, and my truck, trailer and load is subject to inspection and search for any reason, including roadside safety inspection at any time for any reason....with no probable cause required.


Yet, no one complains...the ACLU doesn't sue...and it really doesn't bother me, because I see the logic behind it...just like I see the logic behind this.

Besides, it's totally constitutional.

If I have a problem with the regulations, I am free to choose another line of work.
 
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Quantum Windbag

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A new Florida law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test violates their constitutional rights, the American Civil Liberties Union is charging in a lawsuit.

The suit asserts that the mandatory drug testing is a violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

ACLU sues to stop Florida welfare drug tests - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com
And legal precedent is on the side of those filing suit:

Policies like Florida's will almost certainly end up in court - and there is a good chance that they will be struck down. The Fourth Amendment puts strict limits on what kind of searches the state can carry out, and drug tests are considered to be a search. In 1997, in Chandler v. Miller, the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to strike down a Georgia law requiring candidates for state offices to pass a drug test.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish "personal privacy for a symbol's sake," the court said.

Drug testing welfare applicants does not seem to meet the Chandler test since there is no particular safety reason to be concerned about drug use by welfare recipients. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan's drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.

Is Drug Testing Welfare Applicants Unconstitutional? - Yahoo! News
I don't think Chandler would apply here. The testing is a prerequisite of receiving funds from the government, and SCOTUS has repeatedly ruled that government has the power to tie as many strings to their money as they want. The law in Chandler was aimed at all candidates for office, which is a completely different thing.
 
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rdean

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Considering the very tiny number of people found to be on drugs, every test makes the Republican governor look more and more stupid. The ACLU is unknowingly protecting Republicans.

Because the people who couldn't pass the test didn't show up.

Only 6% of the population couldn't figure that out on their own...congratulations.
Yea, people on drugs are so canny.
 

Care4all

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you are innocent, until proven guilty in this country marty.... presumed guilty until proven innocent is not MY COUNTRY!

I have to take a random drug screen or alcohol screen at any time per government regulations, and have a medical physical every two years per government regulation, and my truck, trailer and load is subject to inspection and search for any reason, including roadside safety inspection at any time for any reason....with no probable cause required.


Yet, no one complains...the ACLU doesn't sue...and it really doesn't bother me, because I see the logic behind it...just like I see the logic behind this.

Besides, it's totally constitutional.

If I have a problem with the regulations, I am free to choose another line of work.
they did sue, when it was all happening and employers began their push....they won some cases and lost some cases if memory serves....

and i have never worked a job that drug tested, though some did drug test the lower level workers in their distribution centers but this was supposedly due to the potential hazards with machinery there...so we were told.....

Management, was NEVER drug tested....and still are never drug tested at any corporation...i worked for 6 different ones....and have friends at others.....that's just the way it is.

hasn't it been proven that 95 plus percent of those on welfare are NOT drug users....and are passing the tests? it's a waste of taxpayer's money, and it is wrong to put all those innocent people through that kind of crap as far as i am concerned and it is unequal treatment....the bankers taking gvt money will NEVER be drug tested. The kids in college on gvt grants will NEVER be required a drug test, the families getting food stamps are not being subject to it, the corporations getting gvt booty will not be subject to it....

singling out only one small group of people receiving gvt money is unjust, along with a waste of time and money.

and unless you are working in a hazardous occupation, or are handling money....businesses can not request you to take one, is my understanding...though this could be state law, which may vary?
 

driveby

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The ACLU defended NAMBLA, what did you expect from them?
 

Moonglow

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It does violate the fourth amendment.
How so? Notice the burden is "unreasonable." How is it unreasonable to ask a person getting CASH from the government, in return for no service, to prove they are clean of drugs? You have to apply to the program to be considered for the testing. Doesnt the state have a vested interest in not seeing cash it hands out spent on illegal drugs?

I have a better idea, stop giving out cash. If you are on the dole, you get vouchers for things, no cash.
the only cash anybody can get is through AFDC. do u know of any programs that offer direct cash benfits?
 

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