A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a Florida law requiring applicants for welfare benefits to undergo mandatory drug testing, ruling it was unconstitutional and shouldn’t be enforced.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven’s 30-page order made permanent an earlier, temporary ban on the law by the judge.
Gov. Rick Scott had backed the drug testing of prospective welfare recipients, arguing it helped protect taxpayers and families. He said in a statement Tuesday that his administration would appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“Any illegal drug use in a family is harmful and even abusive to a child,” Scott said. “We should have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families, especially those families who struggle to make ends meet and need welfare assistance to provide for their children.”