We don’t know why Gov. Rick Scott convinced himself blanket screening of people for drugs — state employees and job seekers and welfare recipients — was a good, or even legal, idea. But he was so convinced, he appealed multiple adverse rulings of employee drug testing all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined Monday to hear Florida’s appeal of a lower court ruling that such testing was unconstitutional. Another appeal regarding his unconstitutional welfare drug testing program is ongoing.
There was never any doubt. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, although case law has also upheld the right of private businesses to test for drugs. The same is not true for governments. Requiring government employees, job applicants and benefit recipients to prove they aren’t on drugs has repeatedly been deemed unconstitutional. Scott wasted taxpayer money arguing otherwise and should now give up his challenge to a December 2013 federal court ruling that declared it unconstitutional.
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