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June 16, 2011

On June 10, 2011, Governor Scott issued a Memo to his agency heads suspending implementation of his previous order mandating illegal, suspicionless drug testing for all state employees under his “purview.” The order allows testing to move ahead in the Department of Corrections only.

Governor Scott issued his drug testing order on March 22, 2011 and the ACLU of Florida filed a federal suit seeking to block that order on May 31, 2011.

Below is a statement from ACLU of Florida leaders regarding the Governor’s new order.

Randall Marshall, Legal Director, ACLU of Florida:

“We are pleased that this new order has delayed subjecting thousands of state employees to demeaning, invasive and illegal tests of their bodily fluids. But it does not change our Constitutional challenge. Any government search without suspicion of drug use or not directly related to public safety is a violation of privacy protections and we will vigorously move ahead with our challenge.”

Howard Simon, Executive Director of ACLU of Florida:

“This is nothing less than a massive and embarrassing retreat on the part of Governor Scott. Despite his continuing rhetoric, he must now realize that Floridians won’t simply roll over but will stand up and defend our Constitutional rights.

“It’s also ironic that he is now citing cost as a reason for this delay when everyone knew his illegal order was going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars from the start. It’s also inconsistent with the Governor’s previous statements that he will take this challenge to Supreme Court which would expose taxpayers to even more large legal costs to defend his indefensible order.”

Peter Walsh, Cooperating Counsel with ACLU of Florida:

“Our suit was very clear about the reasons why the Governor’s order was unconstitutional. And in direct response to our suit, the Governor has retreated. The state already lost a previous case of random drug testing for Florida workers and the state simply cannot legally do what the Governor ordered. His reconsideration and retraction of the heart of his proposal proves what we said all along – his order is deeply, fatally flawed.”

Governor Scott's June 10th 2011 memo can be found here:

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2011 Press Releases