Florida Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to make thousands of government employees take random drug testing is being questioned by Miami-based U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. The potentially unconstitutional law would require random testing of current state employees and mandatory testing of new employees, affecting 80,000 staffers, but would not be required for agencies overseen by the governor and the Cabinet. The American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) branch in the southern state claims the law violates the Fourth Amendment because it raises suspicion and possible illegal search and seizure.
Originally proposed in March, Scott has placed a hold on the law until the dispute is resolved. The Republican governor argued that the public wants the policy. "Our taxpayers expect our state employees to be productive, and this is exactly what the private sector does," he said. A 2004 case in Florida ruled that drug testing is not allowed unless the employee in suspicion works in a job that affects public safety and where abuse may have existed before.
Is rationalizing this policy by comparing it to the private sector an appropriate argument for a public servant? Should people working for the state be subjected to drug tests?