Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences
Kevin Bryant

We all know what unintended consequences are. Now we have a federal judge in Florida sticking her nose in what is clearly a state issue and could potentially open Pandora’s box.

District Court Judge Mary Scriven has temporarily blocked a law that mandates Florida that mandates welfare applicants pay for a mandatory drug screening as part of the application process. If the applicants pass the drug screen, they are reimbursed the cost of the test.

According to the judge, the law is a violation of the 4th amendment.

Here is two main issues I have with her ruling:

1) Receiving welfare is voluntary.

2) This is a state issue.

No one is forcing these people to apply for welfare. I understand that many people need assistance at given points in their lives. A very small amount of those that have applied have failed the drug testing. Many are calling this a waste of money by paying for the screening. What the news is not reporting is that over 1500 applicants did not show up to take the test. That is 1500 les people in the state drawing welfare and saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of the 30 or so that did take the test and fail, the state probably saved their lives and or the lives of their children because they now must either do without or enter into a state sponsored drug treatment program. If they stay sober for 6 months, they can then reapply.

The military has drug screening and it is not considered a violation of the 4th amendment because service is voluntary therefore the military member is consenting to the screening. Why does this apply to the military and not the state? If receiving welfare is voluntary, then the 4th amendment does not apply, therefore it is no longer a federal matter but a state matter and the state has already spoken on this subject in the form of the law itself.

If the injunction in Florida stands then here is the Pandora’s Box that has been opened. Because it involves public sector funds, it makes searches when entering any building built with public funds also illegal. Think of the damage that could be done by this ruling. One would now be free to enter a packed publicly owned stadium with a bomb strapped to them because searching them is now illegal. One could walk into the Washington Monument and blow it up. The list goes on and on.

Advice for Judge Scriven – Quit mimicking congress and actually think before you act.


barb p said...

Maybe the law needs to be rewritten with more specificity!

republican patriot said...

I agree 100% on your assessment Kevin!