The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled unanimously that Florida’s welfare drug testing law, championed by Governor Rick Scott, is unconstitutional. The court concluded that there’s no evidence to explain why it’s necessary to force individuals seeking funding through the Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) program to submit to unreasonable search in order to receive aid. The court suggested that the policy plays on stereotypes.
“We have no reason to think impoverished individuals are necessarily and inherently prone to drug use, or, for that matter, are more prone to drug use than the general population,’’ the court said in its ruling. To the contrary, the court cited a study from 2000 which showed that recipients of TANF are actually less likely than the general public to use illegal drugs.