WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s petition to review a ruling that his random drug testing policy for state employees is unconstitutional, the latest in a series of legal battles facing the governor.
The decision leaves in place a May 2013 appeals court ruling against Scott’s 2011 executive order making consent to suspicionless drug testing a condition of employment. A judge had previously concluded that the program, covering up to 85,000 state workers, violated Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did grant Scott some leeway, saying drug testing without suspicion could be used in “certain safety-sensitive categories of employees — for instance, employees who operate or pilot large vehicles, or law enforcement officers who carry firearms in the course of duty.”
Lawyers are still arguing about which employees could be subjected to random tests. It could take months to sort out.
Scott pressed an appeal on the broader policy to the Supreme Court in January, ignoring a warning from U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro — who first ruled against the program in April 2012 — that there was “probably about zero” chance of success.
Scott, a Republican seeking re-election in November, avoided any acknowledgement of a setback in a statement Monday. He largely suspended the policy when the lawsuit arose in 2011.
U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs Florida Gov. Rick Scott on drug testing | Tampa Bay Times.