Rick Scott Is Still Spending Tons Of Taxpayer Cash Trying To Drug Test State Employees
via Rick Scott's Facebook
A federal judge told him to drop the plan. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals told him it was illegal. Then the U.S. Supreme Court refused to listen to his arguments.
But despite losing over and over in every court around, Gov. Rick Scott is still fighting for the right to force state employees to pee in a cup. And the legal bills for his quixotic quest are now inching toward a cool million bucks -- funded, of course, by taxpayers.
Scott promised to institute drug testing for all state employees -- and all Welfare recipients -- during his first campaign for governor. But the later plan was finally quashed earlier this month by the courts and the former lost on every level as his attorneys appealed decisions up the line.
The governor's latest legal defeat came back in April, when the Supreme Court declined to hear his arguments. That decision left intact a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that testing every state employee with no reasonable suspicion was unconstitutional.
Not for Scott. He's latched onto a small loophole in that appeals court loss; the decision noted that, while the plan itself was unconstitutional, it might be legal for Scott to selectively test some employees in "safety-sensitive" positions.
Scott has now gone back to federal court in Miami to try to has out what those positions might be and to start the wheels turning on drug testing them.
The ACLU, meanwhile, has tried to flip the script by asking the judge only to rule on all the jobs that decidedly aren't "safety-sensitive." If the judges bite, that argument would codify a whole range of jobs as being outside random drug testing scope while giving Scott no more wiggle room on testing others.
Scott has hit back, telling the Tampa Tribune that argument would "side-step the orders" of the appeals court.
Meanwhile, those billable hours for state attorneys keep on piling up. To date, Scott's already spent $650,000 on his unconstitutional urinalysis mission.
No matter what happens in his latest arguments, his legal team will certainly emerge as the financial winners.