Rick Scott Has His Drug Test Appeal Shot Down by Federal Court

Categories: Politics
Thumbnail image for rick scott nyaa.jpg
"GET BIG GOVERNMENT OUT OUR LIVES! Unless you're a poor minority, of course. NYAA!!"

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta unanimously ruled that a lower court's decision to halt the enforcement of Rick Scott's law that forced welfare recipients to take drug tests was good.

Back in May 2011, Scott signed into law a bill requiring that Florida's TANF welfare recipients pass a drug test. This led to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida to call the bill an invasive, mandatory bodily-fluid search. 

A federal judge agreed that the bill was an invasion of privacy and personal dignity to thousands and a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said that Scott and the state failed to show that the drug testing plan was so critical that the Fourth Amendment should be pissed on (pun!).

The ACLU lawsuit was filed on September 6, 2011, after Luis Lebron, a single dad and TANF applicant, refused to take Scott's test on the grounds that it infringed on his constitutional rights.

At the time, the Middle District of Florida agreed that the government isn't allowed to just demand welfare recipients' blood or urine willy-nilly without a really, really, lawfully good reason and issued an injunction barring the state from enforcing the unconstitutional law.

The State of Florida appealed that injunction, and today a three-judge panel held that the lower court was right to halt the law.

"I am thrilled for Luis and his family, and for the thousands of class members he represents, that yet another court has affirmed that all of us are protected from unreasonable, invasive, suspicionless searches," said Maria Kayanan, associate legal director for the ACLU of Florida and lead counsel in the case. 

"The court's decision clearly states that the Fourth Amendment's protection against being subjected to these kinds of invasive searches protects us all, including those of us who are struggling to make ends meet in this tough economy. The State of Florida can't treat an entire segment of our community like suspected criminals simply because they are poor and are trying to get temporary assistance from the government to support their families."

As for Scott, he took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the court's decision:

rick scott tweet court.JPG

No doubt Scott (and the teabaggers) will take this fight as far as he can.

Because government should not be allowed to muscle into and run people's lives unless we're talking about the lives of minorities who need financial assistance because then it's apparently cool!!

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The Governor's absurd pursuit of a testing program first ruled unconstitutional 10 years ago is little more than a hidden tax, as he will (in the end) accomplish nothing other than draining the State's general fund of several hundred thousand dollars to pay the ACLU's legal fees.

riverrat69 topcommenter

Way to go Rick. How many lawyer jobs did you create to take this shit to the circuit court of appeals at the taxpayers expense?

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