Thursday, October 27, 2011

Note to Frank Antenori: Don't Try Welfare Drug Tests Again

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

You might remember that Frank Antenori tried to get a law on the Arizona books to require random drug tests for welfare recipients earlier this year, and while the Senate loved the idea, the bill died in the House.

Such a bill did become law in Florida, but it's not going so well on the whole "is it Constitutional?" front:


In a blistering 37-page opinion (PDF) issued late Monday night, federal court Judge Mary Scriven put a halt to the tea party Republican's marquee plan, concluding that "the wholesale, suspicionless drug testing of all applicants" for Florida's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) constituted an unreasonable search in violation of the 4th Amendment....

"Though the State speaks in generalities about the 'public health risk, as well as the crime risk, associated with drugs' being 'beyond dispute,' it provides no concrete evidence that those risks are any more present in TANF applicants than in the greater population," Scriven wrote in her ruling against Florida's government. "It is not enough to simply recite a governmental interest without any evidence of a concrete threat that would be mitigated through drug testing."

Don't worry, Frank, I'm sure you'll find some other way to continue your war on the poor. Just keep brainstorming. The ideas will come.

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