Judge to Florida: You Can't Drug-Test State Workers

Governor Rick Scott's directive called unconstitutional
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2012 3:20 PM CDT
Florida Gov. Rick Scott.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Florida Gov. Rick Scott's plan to give random drug tests to state workers just ran into a big problem: the Fourth Amendment. A federal judge ruled that Scott's directive to have the state's 85,000 employees submit to surprise tests violates the Constitution's protection against unreasonable search and seizure, reports the Palm Beach Post. The ruling did not address whether new hires can be tested.

  • Judge Usrula Ungaro: “To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing."
  • Governor Scott, announcing plans to appeal: “As I have repeatedly explained, I believe that drug testing state employees is a common sense means of ensuring a safe, efficient and productive workforce."
Another Florida law requiring welfare recipients to undergo drug-testing also is being challenged in the courts, notes NPR.

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