A federal judge in Miami Wednesday cast serious doubts about Gov. Rick Scott’s order requiring thousands of state government employees to undergo a random drug test, suggesting his policy “sweeps too broadly.”
U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro peppered a government lawyer with questions about the constitutionality of Scott’s policy, saying she had “trouble understanding the circumstances under which the executive order would be valid."
Ungaro said she would soon make up her mind about the legal challenge to Scott’s policy by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. The group argues that his order violates the Fourth Amendment rights of state workers because the testing requirement is “suspicionless” and therefore an illegal search and seizure.
“For the consent [to the search] to be valid, it has to be voluntary,” ACLU lawyer Shalini Goel Agarwal argued. “This blanket drug testing is unconstitutional.”
The legal challenge to the governor’s order, which has been placed on hold by Scott himself until the dispute is resolved, centers on whether the state has a constitutional right to require random drug tests of existing public workers and mandatory testing of all new employees. The governor issued his order last March.