12/3/2014, Appeals Court Finds FL Law Mandating Drug Testing for Assistance Applicants Unconstitutional

Drug testing:  Unconstitutional for those applying for TANF benefits, but not for chronic pain patients.  I guess the difference in rights all hinges on the term “suspicionless,” because if you are on opioid therapy, you are automatically considered a suspect for drug diversion and addiction — both of which are illegal.  And being a chronic pain patient on opioid therapy, you obviously have very few rights to privacy.

https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/appeals-court-finds-florida-law-mandating-drug-testing-assistance-applicants-unc

“The 11th Circuit has affirmed that that the 4th Amendment applies to everyone, even those applying for government assistance,” stated Randall Berg, Executive Director of the Florida Justice Institute and co-counsel with the ACLU. “The same rationale for requiring suspicionless drug tests of TANF recipients could be used to require suspicionless searches for any kind of government benefit, whether it is social security, farm subsidies, or student scholarships.

From today’s decision:  Of course, citizens do not abandon all hope of privacy by applying for government assistance. [No, citizens abandon all hope of privacy if they suffer from pain and request access to drugs for treatment.] By virtue of poverty, TANF applicants are not stripped of their legitimate expectations of privacy — they are not employees in dangerous vocations or students subject to the parens patriae power of the state. And ‘the collection and testing of urine intrudes upon expectations of privacy that society has long recognized as reasonable.’

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