Federal Judge Throws Out Governor Scott’s Order to Drug Test State Employees

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an order in March of 2011 which would allow the state to drug test its employees randomly and without any suspicion of drug use or improper conduct. The order has been challenged as a violation of a person’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Constitution. Governor Scott defended the order by comparing a drug test to a requirement to make certain financial disclosures.

The federal court noted that everyone has a Constitutional privacy interest in his/her bodily fluids. As a result, the state cannot intrude upon one’s Constitutionally protected privacy interest without a specific reason. The Governor also cannot condition a state job or any other government benefit on one’s willingness to give up his/her Constitutional right to privacy.

As it stands, Governor Scott’s two attempts to increase the role of government by drug testing people, whether those with state jobs or those seeking welfare benefits, have been blocked by federal judges as violations of the Constitution.

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