Supreme Court to Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Drug Testing: ‘Talk to the Hand’

Rick Scott

Florida’s public servants couldn’t be blamed for feeling that someone painted targets on their foreheads after Rick Scott (GOP/Tea) took over as governor three years ago. He eliminated many of their jobs, leaving the survivors with crippling work loads. He reduced their salaries by an amount equal to the state’s contribution to their pensions, so they have less money to spend each week and only the same amount they had before for retirement.

But treating public employees as guilty of taking illegal drugs until proven innocent is one of the most overt ways Scott’s contempt for the state’s workers has been evidenced. The new governor demanded that state employees line up and pee in a cup to prove that they’re drug-free, as if being willing to work for the government places them among the criminal class.

State workers sued the governor (one of many lawsuits the state of Florida has had to pay for since Scott took office) and recently, they won. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Scott’s assertion that public employees must submit to the indignity, inconvenience, and irrationality of drug testing when their behavior and job performance provide no indication that such testing is warranted.

…the United States Supreme Court announced that it will not hear an appeal from Florida Governor Rick Scott seeking to overturn an 11th Circuit Court decision that declared unconstitutional the Governor’s Executive Order mandating that state employees in the Governor’s purview submit to suspicionless urinalysis.

…The latest in a series of victories for privacy rights in the state’s costly legal battles in defense of unconstitutional drug testing programs under the Scott administration, the Supreme Court declined to grant Gov. Scott’s petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place an appeals court decision that the state cannot subject all employees to mandatory urinalysis. Today’s decision by the nation’s highest court effectively ends the appeals process for the Governor’s Executive Order for across-the-board testing.

Scott transferred his interest in Solantic, a chain of quick-care clinics that provided employment testing such as drug tests, to his wife, Ann, after Floridians cried foul. Today, Scott claims his investments are in a blind trust, but the tea party darling’s t’s still don’t cross and his i’s don’t dot.

“Despite his claim that he is a small-government conservative seeking to limit the power of government in our lives and government expenses, Gov. Scott has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending policies that require people to submit their bodily fluids for government inspection,” stated ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon. “The courts have spoken time and again on this issue: and it’s time for Gov. Scott to cut his losses and face the facts: the government can’t subject entire classes of people to urinalysis without reasonable suspicion or a genuine threat to public safety.”


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  • David Leach
    April 26, 2014 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    Besides the privacy issue, drug testing is not cost effective. It would cost a lot of money to catch very few offenders.

  • Kitty Plourde
    April 26, 2014 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Just goes to show that Rick Scott is not fit to govern the state of Florida. And in response to David Leach, you are 100% correct that it costs a lot of money, but guess who owns the drug testing lab, good ole boy Rick Scott’s WIFE. Talk about a conflict of interest. They both are nothing but crooks.

  • April 26, 2014 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

    If he were smart you would think he could read the writing on the wall. He is a first class criminal and I cannot figure out why our voters ever elected him. I had read enough before he was elected to want him shipped out of FL the first plane or train available. I would love to see him arrested on the spot for his previous crimes when he leaves office and I wish him the worst possible life ever.

  • April 27, 2014 - 2:24 am | Permalink

    I don’t get it. State employees act as if they are insulted to have to be drug tested. They are no better or worse than me. I had to be drug tested as a condition of employment. Why shouldn’t they have the same condition of employment? As a taxpayer, I pay their salaries, I want to know I’m not paying some crack head to be doing something that could hurt others. I don’t particularly care for Rick Scott, and I was suspicious of what “lab” would do the drug tests but as long as they aren’t done but his or wife’s company, I think it should be done.

  • Greg
    April 27, 2014 - 4:58 am | Permalink

    It’s not about being a condition if employment. We all take drug tests for that. It’s about Random drug testing every day. The HR computers randomly picks employee names and your name is eligible every time. It’s nice to implement a testing system with no end AND own the testing labs .

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