Temporary ban on Florida welfare drug testing upheld

12:04 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary ban on a law requiring drug testing of Florida welfare recipients.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Tuesday ruled that a lower court was right to temporarily halt enforcement of the drug-testing program. The opinion said the state of Florida hadn't shown a "substantial special need" for such mandatory drug testing.

Florida officials have argued that testing is necessary because it would deter drug use by those receiving welfare. Opponents say drug testing as a condition of getting welfare benefits is an unconstitutional search and seizure.

Tuesday's opinion was authored by Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett. She was the first woman to sit on the Florida Supreme Court and was the state's first female Chief Justice.

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