• U.S. Supreme Court won't hear Florida employee drug-testing case


    WASHINGTON - For many there was a victory in the fight over random drug tests for Florida state employees Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to even hear the case.
    It's a battle that has been going on for about three years, since Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order for the testing.
    Scott's order requiring random drug tests would have affected as many as 85,000 state workers.
    The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has challenged the drug-testing plan from the beginning.
    That organization's executive director, Howard Simon, called the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the governor's appeal a victory Monday.
    "This court is not a friendly court to claims of civil right and civil liberties," said Simon. "And the governor's radical agenda didn't even entice four of the most conservative members of this U.S.  Supreme Court."
    Three years ago Scott issued an executive order that would have forced state employees to undergo those drug tests.
    Last year an appeals court ruled the order was too broad. The governor then took his fight to the Supreme Court.
    "If they would have ultimately accepted the governor's position it would have changed the whole structure of working people all over the country," said Simon.
    The governor issued a statement Monday that said, in part, "State employees should have the right to work in a safe and drug free environment, just like in any other business. The merits of this case are still being deliberated in the U.S. Southern District Court, and we will continue to fight to make sure all state employees, who are paid by taxpayer funds, can work in a safe, drug free workplace."
    The Supreme Court decision does not end the battle. Portions of the case are still being debated in federal court in Miami.  
    The two sides are looking at whether some categories of workers should be subjected to the testing.
    Some of those categories of workers include safety-sensitive positions, like those who operate heavy machinery.
    The governor has vowed to continue his fight in federal court.

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