Florida Judge Rules Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Unconstitutional: Nothing So Immediate About Government Interest in Drug Free Recipients That Warrants Suspending Fourth Amendment

what if the government just made everyone do it? ok then?A district court judge in
Florida granted summary judgment for the plaintiff in a case
challenging the constitutionality of a law requiring welfare
recipients to submit to drug testing. The law was in effect for
four months after being passed in 2011, before being temporarily
suspended by a court order. During that time only 2.6 percent of
recipients tested positive for drugs, most commonly marijuana,

according to the Miami Herald blog
, which also cites a
1998 study that found welfare recipients in the state had a lower
rate of drug use than the general population. The crux of the legal
case against the drug testing, via the Herald:

But in the Dec. 31 ruling, the court agreed with the
11th Circuit’s conclusion that “There is nothing so special or
immediate about the government’s interest in ensuring that TANF
recipients are drug free so as to warrant suspension of the Fourth
Amendment. The only known and shared characteristic of the
individuals who would be subjected to Florida’s mandatory drug
testing program is that they are financially needy families with
children. Yet, there is nothing inherent in the condition of being
impoverished that supports the conclusion that there is a concrete
danger that impoverished individuals are prone to drug use or that
should drug use occur, that the lives of TANF recipients are
fraught with such risks of injury to others that even a momentary
lapse of attention can have disastrous consequences.”

You can peruse the whole ruling

More Reason on drug
and on the Fourth

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/31/florida-judge-rules-drug-testing-welfare

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