Judge Orders Florida to Stop Welfare Drug Tests
Says it will likely be ruled unconstitutional
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Scaramouche
Posted Oct 26, 2011 12:31 PM CDT
A urine sample bottle is seen in this file photo.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A federal judge has ordered Florida to suspend its “suspicionless drug testing” of would-be welfare recipients, writing that “there is a substantial likelihood” that the law requiring such tests will be deemed unconstitutional. The ruling comes thanks to an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of one welfare recipient—an unemployed ex-Marine, college student, and single dad—who refused to take the test because he felt it violated the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure, CNN reports.

The judge denied the ACLU’s request to make the case a class-action suit, but otherwise seemed sympathetic. “Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen's rights under the Constitution,” she wrote. A similar law in Michigan was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in 2003. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office says he “obviously disagrees with the decision,” and is evaluating his appeal options.