Florida GOP Lawmakers Propose To Drug Test Everyone But Themselves
It is a very tough job finding something to do in the Florida legislature these days, what with everyone having a job and home values doing well, and certainly the state isn't being invaded by hordes of rapidly-multiplying, large-mammal-eating swamp monster snakes, so House Republicans are reviving one of their favorite policy time-killers, randomly drug testing large swaths of citizens without cause at the cost of millions of dollars to the state in exchange for no savings. Who gets to pee in the cup this time? "All state employees" are the lucky winners, except for ...oh hang on there's a caveat... oh right, except for elected lawmakers themselves. Because, says bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, this would, uh, violate lawmakers' First Amendment rights. Good thing nobody else has those!
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said the proposal would not include state Representatives and elected officials, as that would be a breach of lawmakers' First Amendment rights.
Huh. Not entirely sure how "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" applies to drug testing elected lawmakers and officials, but what about the more germane Fourth Amendment protecting citizens from searches on their person without probable cause?
In a pending case against Gov. Rick Scott, a federal judge on Wednesday raised questions about whether or not random drug tests of state workers violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
So the Florida House will vote on a measure similar to an executive order from Governor Voldemort that mandates random drug testing for state employees that is currently on hold because of a legal challenge, because it is unconstitutional, much like last year's law mandating drug testing for welfare recipients that was blocked by a judge, for being unconstitutional. Are they putting amnesia in the water in Florida these days? [Tampa Bay Times via Wonkette operative "mk"]