Pubdate: Wed, 09 Nov 2011
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2011 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Jane V. Blanchard


On Oct. 24, a federal district judge blocked Florida's controversial
law that mandates drug tests for temporary-assistance applicants.

According to Judge Mary Scriven, compelled drug testing violates the
Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure and
that individuals retain a right of privacy against such intrusive,
suspicionless searches by the state, even when applying for temporary
assistance. "The constitutional rights of a class of citizen are at
stake," Scriven wrote, confirming that the Constitution protects all
of us from unreasonable searches, even if we are poor.

On Nov. 3, the state appealed the judge's decision. In the district
court, the attorneys sent by Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature
implied that poor families who qualify for temporary public assistance
are not protected by the Constitution of the United States. Scott said
his appeal position was "common sense."

Since when is it common sense to deny protection of the Constitution
to those on temporary public assistance?

Jane V. Blanchard

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