Welfare drug testing arguments to be heard in federal court today

By | 09.26.11 | 8:51 am

Gov. Rick Scott (left) with Florida Senate President-Designate Don Gaetz, R-Destin (Pic via flgov.com)

A federal judge will hear arguments for and against the state’s controversial new law requiring welfare applicants to be drug tested.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of Luis Lebron over the constitutionality of the law. Lebron is a 35-year old Orlando resident, Navy veteran, full-time student and single father. He was recently denied benefits he was otherwise qualified for because he refused to waive his Fourth Amendment rights and submit to a drug test.

The Associated Press reports that ”the state is being represented by an attorney from the governor’s office.”

Many questions surround the implementation of the law. According to preliminary data, a very small number of applicants are denied benefits because they are testing positive for drug use. Despite the questionable constitutionality and motives for the law, the law is supported by a large number of Floridians.

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, has filed legislation that would repeal the drug testing law.

The ACLU is asking the judge to issue a preliminary injunction against the law in court today.

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