- Apr 28, 2011
- Reaction score
- In a Republic, actually
And legal precedent is on the side of those filing suit: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
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