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Scott wants Supremes to intervene in worker drug testing case

Gov. Rick Scott wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision by a federal appeals court striking down random drug testing of state workers as a violation of their Fourth Amendment protections.

Scott filed a petition for a writ of certiorari Monday with the nation's highest court. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last May that his executive order making consent to suspicionless drug testing a condition of employment was unconstitutional.

The lawsuit was brought by Council 79 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union that represents many rank-and-file state workers, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

"The (Scott) administration seems to wish to fight to the bitter end to defend this wrongheaded and unconstitutional policy," said a statement from ACLU attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal. "We are prepared to demonstrate to the U.S. Supreme Court, as it has found before, that the state has no authority to require people to submit their bodily fluids for government inspection and approval without reason or suspicion.” 

The ACLU also said there was little chance that five of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices would agree to take up the case.

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Pablo

More Florida taxpayer money being wasted by governor $cott on legal fees to fight strident ideological battles that are doomed to failure.

Hmmmm

While this will most likely fail; I believe as with private employers, random drug testing should be allowed in public sector employment.

ed jenkins

Scott has once again proven why the voters have been won over by him as he is not allowing judges to interfere with policies he campaigned on and put into place upon his election. The citizens demanded that although they did not want money confiscated from them to pay people to sit on their couches as the very least this money would not go toward illegal drug use. Some naïve drug abuses will say that this is state mandating drug tests but this is only so if the welfare recipient asks for welfare, if there is no welfare request there is no drug test and if the recipient goes to a charity instead which is more appropriate there is no drug test. Other uninformed commentators believe government money is spent on these trails but it is government lawyers representing the state who are already on payroll.

Ven Sequenzia

If Governor Scott spent half as much doing his job as he does filing lawsuits Florida would be in the top 10 states in social services, instead of last.

Pandering to the Tea Party is really going to go far.

Pablo

$cott has once again proven why his own internal polls show his negative approval ratings and show him trailing Governor Crist.

Other uninformed and ignorant commentators might think that this case is about drug testing welfare recipients, when it is really about drug testing state employees and has nothing to do with welfare recipients. Other commentators are urged to actually read the articles before commenting.

Other uninformed and ignorant commentators might think that there is no cost to the taxpayers if $cott uses in house legal counsel to pursue his narrow-minded ideological agenda. But those legal staffers are being kept from handling the state's legitimate legal work by being tied up in these endless fruitless lawsuits and appeals.

MarvinM

Aside from the fact that this is a clear 4th amendment violation, to pursue this drug testing will only result in an increased cost to the state - if the welfare recipients also have medical (private) information attached to their records, it has to be handled in a secure fashion - think HIPPA. Not all state workers are HIPPA-certified.

Or, as is probably more likely given how Scott's unemployment benefits website worked out, your medical records won't be protected properly.

Current law allows drug testing for persons in positions where there is a safety issue, or where there is evidence to warrant such testing. We don't need to be wasting money randomly testing people for drug usage.

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