before passing these stupid laws?
A U.S. district judge on Monday ordered an injunction on a Florida law requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving state benefits.
An ACLU lawsuit filed in September claimed the Florida law violates the Fourth Amendment by requiring welfare applicants to submit to a “suspicionless” drug test. [...]
“… the state provides scant evidence that rampant drug abuse exists among this class of individuals,” Judge Mary Scriven writes in the court order.
“The constitutional rights of a class of citizens are at stake, and the Constitution dictates that the needs asserted to justify subverting those rights must be special, as the case law defines that term, in order for this exception to the Fourth Amendment to apply. … That showing has not been made on this record.”
Thirty-five other states have been proposing similar laws, so this ruling (albeit temporary) is very good news. It seemed clear from the outset that the Florida law was intended solely as another hurdle (and, as added bonus, humiliation) to state residents seeking aid. Florida even required applicants to pay for their drug test. All for a pointless exercise:
Since July, 7,030 passed, 32 failed and 1,597 did not provide results, according to the state. The state said it does not track what drugs caused failures, but elsewhere the vast majority of cases involved marijuana.
In this decision, the judge noted that there was "scant evidence" of rampant drug use among welfare applicants, thus agreeing with the ACLU argument that the Fourth Amendment would prohibit subjecting an entire class of people to these tests. Very good news indeed, and hopefully an indication that Florida Gov. Rick Scott and others will have a tough road ahead of them in trying to forge ahead with these actions clearly meant solely to humiliate people needing assistance.