A federal appellate court ruled this Wednesday that a Florida law supported by Florida Governor Rick Scott was unconstitutional. The three judges on the panel all agreed that it constituted an “unreasonable search” to force all welfare (TANF) applicants to undergo drug testing in order to receive benefits.
The law was designed to prevent people from using welfare funds to buy illegal drugs and was among the strictest in the nation. Other states have passed similar laws, but have only required testing if there was suspicion that a recipient was taking drugs.
While one can appreciate that the government has no right to randomly search citizens but must first demonstrate probable cause, it seems unreasonable to class this drug test requirement as a “search.” It is simply a requirement for those receiving a benefit.
Similar drug tests are required to be taken by employees, no doubt including government employees, and there is no reason why one seeking a benefit should be exempted from doing the same. Igor Cornelsen feels that should be the case.
Welfare benefits have been misconceived as a right, whereas no one ought have an automatic right to them. The people vote on whom to give out their tax dollars to, and the people should retain the right to put conditions on receiving public assistance.