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Judge Nixes Florida's Welfare Drug Testing

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UPDATE
Story By: James Buechele
1-3-14

No more testing.

That's what the U.S. District Court ruled on Florida's drug testing for people using welfare benefits.

Florida Governor Rick Scott was dealt a blow this week in court. Judge Mary Scriven ruled a law requiring drug tests for people applying for welfare benefits is unconstitutional and shouldn't be enforced.

Back in February 2013, Governor Scott said he's trying to save the taxpayers money.

"Welfare is for the benefit of a child," said Scott. "That money should make sure it should goes to benefit of a child. [It] Shouldn't go to an adult that is using drugs."

So what does this mean for the future law? Tallahassee attorney Mark Nonni says with the governor's plan of appeal, the case could make its way to Washington D.C.

"The next step would be the 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta that would be the next stop and they would get to decide," said Nonni. "Then, ultimately, regardless of how the 11th circuit decides, Governor Scott could take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Florida ACLU says it causes an unconstitutional search and seizure. Something that will be brought up again in another court.

"Normally before you search somebody you have to have some type of reasonable suspicion."


News Release: Associated Press News

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge has struck down a Florida law requiring applicants for welfare benefits to undergo mandatory drug testing.

U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven ruled Tuesday that the law was unconstitutional and shouldn't be enforced.

The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban on the law by the judge.

Gov. Rick Scott had backed the drug testing of prospective welfare recipients, arguing it helped protect taxpayers and families.

Opponents of the law had argued it was an unconstitutional search and seizure.


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