facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Takes Welfare Drug Testing Battle To Supreme Court

Despite it being struck down by an appeals court judge, the unpopular governor remains determined to push a questionable program that wastes more money than it saves.


Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking the battle to drug test welfare recipients in his state all the way to the Supreme Court. He is asking the high court to rule on the constitutionality of his policy after an appeals judge banned the practice last month by deeming it unconstitutional. Lawyers for the unpopular governor filed the petition earlier this week, arguing that Florida has an “overriding interest in a drug-free workforce” and that illegal drug use “increases financial costs, creates safety hazards, and impairs productivity."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is prepared to defend the current ruling, arguing that government drug tests violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. ACLU of Florida attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal said in a statement "that the state has no authority to require people to submit their bodily fluids for government inspection and approval without reason or suspicion.”

Last month, Judge Mary S. Scriven struck down the mandatory welfare drug testing and said there is "no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied." Scott expressed disappointment in the ruling afterwards, declaring in a statement that “we should have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families – especially those families who struggle to make ends meet and need welfare assistance to provide for their children.”

Statistics from April 2012 showed that 4,086 welfare applicants were tested in the state, but only 108 (2.6%) yielded a positive result. Furthermore, the tests actually cost the state $45,780 because reimbursing the costs of the tests to welfare applicants who tested negative outweighed what the government would have disbursed to people who failed.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
A Man—With an Eating Disorder

When I tell people I have an eating disorder, I get surprise, sympathy, empathy and laughing-shock: "Men can have eating disorders?”

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv