Court Blocks Drug Testing For Florida Welfare Recipients
Those who are applying for welfare benefits in Florida will no longer be forced to pay out of pocket for a drug test, due to an injunction placed by Judge Mary Scriven. Scriven recently ruled that Florida’s law could violate the constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure.
The suit, which was filed by a Navy Veteran in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, proclaimed that the state had shown no established reason to believe that welfare recipients were abusing drugs, to which Scriven agreed. “If invoking an interest in preventing public funds from potentially being used to fund drug use were the only requirement to establish a special need,” Scriven wrote, “the state could impose drug testing as an eligibility requirement for every beneficiary of every government program. Such blanket intrusions cannot be countenanced under the Fourth Amendment.”
Governor Rick Scott’s office continued to defend the law, stating once again that it was for the good of children to ensure that benefits went to their well being, rather than potentially being squandered on drugs. “Drug testing welfare recipients is just a common-sense way to ensure that welfare dollars are used to help children and get parents back to work,” his office released via statement.
During the period in which drug tests were mandated, the state saw very few fails, proving their assertion that welfare recipients are more likely to be abusing drugs than the rest of the general population was completely false.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons