Tea Party Network Urges State to Contest Welfare Drug-Test Ruling


A tea party group denounced a federal court injunction blocking Florida's drug testing of welfare recipients and called on Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi to contest the ruling.

"Federal law explicitly says that a state shall not be prohibited from testing welfare recipients for controlled substances," said Jesse Phillips, the Tea Party Network's point person on judicial reform.

"The Fourth Amendment says that law enforcement can't show up and search me unless they have probable cause. However, if I walk into a government building to apply for government aid, the state can and should require reasonable screening," said Phillips.

"The inability of Judge [Mary] Scriven to see the difference between those two things has put the state in the impossible position of having the obligation to provide welfare assistance without the discretion needed to do it wisely."

Phillips said Scriven's ruling "infringes on the rights of every state under the 10th Amendment to take proactive steps to protect its citizens from the social and economic consequences of state-funded substance abuse."

The Foundation for Government Accountability, whose research cited cost-benefit evidence supporting the law, claimed that Scriven prematurely dismissed its findings when she issued a temporary injunction at the request of the ACLU of Florida.

"The analysis showed significant taxpayer savings and greater welfare accountability," FGA said in a statement. "Attorney General Pam Bondi included FGA’s first study as part of her submissions to the court. Judge Scriven thought it best to trash our study because it conflicted with her predetermined conclusion."

See news article on the ruling and other reaction here.
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