Drug Testing Policy Already Declared Unconstitutional in 2004 ACLU Case

March 22, 2011
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737 or media@aclufl.org

Rick Scott’s Executive Order today (11-58) attempts to resurrect a policy previously found unconstitutional by a federal judge in a 2004 ACLU case against the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The suit found the random drug testing of state employees to be unconstitutional, and the plaintiff was awarded a settlement t of $150,000.

From the judgment: “DJJ had (and apparently still has) a random drug testing policy applicable by its terms to all DJJ employees, top to bottom. DJJ now virtually concedes the policy cannot constitutionally be applied to at least some DJJ employees.”

A link to the 2004 judgment is here: http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/2004-WenzelBankheadOrder.pdf

Statement from Howard Simon, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida:

“I’m not sure why Governor Scott does not know that the policy he recreated by Executive Order today has already been declared unconstitutional.

“The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety-sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone.

“Coming from a Governor who promised to protect our freedoms by limiting the intrusive reach of government into our personal lives, this massive expansion of government power at the expense of basic rights is stunning and exposes the state to serious future legal liability.

“Since we have already succeeded once in overturning this unconstitutional expansion of government power, the ACLU of Florida is willing to represent any state employee or association of state employees who will have their rights infringed upon if the announced policy takes effect.“

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