The Associated Press is reporting that a federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Florida's new law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits, saying it may violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.
Judge Mary Scriven ruled in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test. The judge said there was a good chance plaintiff Luis Lebron would succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from being unfairly searched.
The drug test can reveal a host of private medical facts about the individual, Scriven wrote, adding that she found it "troubling" that the drug tests are not kept confidential like medical records. The results can also be shared with law enforcement officers and a drug abuse hotline.
"This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a 'far more substantial' invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases," said Scriven, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.
The judge also said Florida didn't show that the drug testing program meets criteria for exceptions to the Fourth Amendment.
Finally someone is questioning this nonsensical law that is just another assault on the poor. The story reports that while 32 applicants have failed the drug test, more than 7,000 have passed, according to the Department of Children and Families. Clearly, Florida officials need to turn their attention to more pressing matters, such as job creation.
Read more at the Washington Post.
In other news: Pat Buchanan Makes Racist Claims in New Book.