September 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2013
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363 - 2737

MIAMI - Today, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, representing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 in a challenge to Governor Rick Scott’s Executive Order requiring state employees to submit to invasive drug tests without any suspicion of drug use, met with the governor’s lawyers and Federal District Judge Ursula Ungaro in a status conference to future proceedings in the case.

In April of 2012, Judge Ungaro ruled that requiring state employees to submit to suspicionless, invasive searches without suspicion of drug use violated the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and ordered the administration to halt the proposed program. The Scott administration appealed that order, and, following another decision rejecting their constitutional arguments at the appeals level, the Governor’s office has stated an intent to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review of the case.

The following is a statement on today’s status conference from ACLU of Florida Staff Attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal:

Judge Ungaro was adamant during today’s status conference that the Governor has zero chance of convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling that mandatory across-the-board urinalysis of all employees and job applicants, without individualized suspicion of drug use, is unconstitutional. Treating those who serve the people of Florida like suspected criminals by requiring them to submit their bodily fluids for government inspection and approval has been rejected by every court that has heard the governor’s lawyers try to defend it. We hope that the Governor will heed the advice of the federal court and stop using the court as a political tool by continuing to defend clearly unconstitutional policies—and at great expense to Florida taxpayers.

The following is a statement on today’s status conference from AFSCME Council 79 Special Counsel Alma Gonzalez:

It’s disturbing to see the Governor continue to play politics using Florida’s taxpayer dollars. We believe that the Supreme Court will send him packing. We look forward to the end of politics and the beginning of governance in the next administration.

More information on the case is available here: