A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law's "suspicionless drug testing" of adults seeking federal welfare.Okay, I'm gonna withold my commentary on this one. Maybe I'll chime in later, but for now, it's your show.
The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
"Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen's rights under the Constitution," the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.
Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.
Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides "personal accountability." He added it was "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction." The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.
Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients "will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars" and make sure the money goes to the children.
"Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance," Scott said while signing the bill into law.
The ACLU said the state's own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage (less than 2%) tested positive.
What say ye'?
Question: Should welfare recipients be tested for drug use, or is this just another case of too much government intrusion?!?