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Court Rejects Welfare Drug Test Appeal

Associated Press
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A federal appeals court has rejected an attempt by Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration to reinstate a law that would require welfare benefits applicants to submit to mandatory drug testing.

Credit Associated Press
The Florida Channel
Gov. Rick Scott

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed last year's ruling by U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven that the law is an unconstitutional search and seizure. Scott's administration wanted the appeals court to overturn that ruling.

The 11th Circuit panel agreed there was no evidence of a pervasive drug problem among applicants for the program, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida challenged the 2011 law on behalf of Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran and single father from Orlando who refused to submit to a drug test.