The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott appeals drug testing injunction

3

November

Here's the statement from Gov. Rick Scott on the state's decision to appeal a federal court ruling that temporary halted a state law that requires drug tests for cash-assistance applicants:

"Today, the State appealed a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking a common-sense Florida law that requires drug testing of welfare recipients.  I cannot fully express my disappointment in the federal district court’s decision. This policy is intended to help Florida families and is an effective way to ensure that welfare dollars are used for the benefit of children and to help Floridians get back to work and off public assistance.  I have no doubt that the law is constitutional, and that it is supported by the great weight of judicial authority. The court erred in rejecting the State’s arguments, and was unjustified in blocking the will of the People’s elected representatives.  An overwhelming majority of Floridians support this law, and I will continue to fight for it in the courts."

From the ACLU, which is fighting the law:

"It’s disappointing – but not surprising -- that the Governor has instructed his attorneys to continue defending the indefensible. Gov. Scott wants to continue wasting more money on a legal crusade defending a campaign pledge to create an unconstitutional, big-government program that is itself a waste of money.

"Last month in federal court in Orlando, the Governor’s attorneys pushed the startling proposition that some Floridians – namely poor families asking for temporary government assistance – were not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Judge Scriven rightfully tossed out that notion and the arguments made to support it.

"Governor Scott is sadly confused about conservative principles.  No true conservative would defend a program that allows government to conduct intrusive, privacy-violating searches on people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, but who are simply applicants for government services.

"Being poor is not a crime, and the state should not treat poor Floridians like suspected criminals.

"The ACLU of Florida will defend the federal court’s condemnation of invasive, stigmatizing, and unconstitutional suspicionless searches, and protect the constitutional rights of Luis Lebron and all TANF applicants."

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 1:23pm]

    

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