ACLU sues Rick Scott over state worker drug-testingby Dara Kam | June 1st, 2011
The ACLU is challenging in federal court Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order forcing all state workers to undergo drug testing.
The civil rights organization filed the lawsuit in federal court in Miami yesterday accusing Scott of violating the constitution’s guarantee to be free from unreasonable searches by the government. The lawsuit also asks federal judge Ursula Ungaro to issue an injunction immediately stopping all drug-testing of the state’s 250,000 state workers.
ACLU of Florida executive director Howard Simon called Scott’s order “profoundly un-American” because it is conflicts with the Fourth Amendment put into the Bill of Rights in response to warrantless searches by King George’s troops during the American Revolution.
“It could not be more invasive of privacy,” Simon told reporters during a conference call this afternoon.
In 2004, the courts struck down a Florida Department of Juvenile Justice random drug testing policy. The court found that drug testing of state workers without reasonable suspicion was unconstitutional and awarded the plaintiff in that case $150,000.
Yesterday, Scott signed into law a measure requiring welfare recipients to undergo drug screening. That new law is unrelated to the executive order and to the case filed yesterday.
The lawsuit is the first in what is expected to be a slew of challenges to state laws passed by the legislature during the session that ended last month regarding abortion, elections and freedom of speech.
“It’s a tsunami of anti-civil liberties legislation,” Simon said.