Posts Tagged ‘Public Assistance’

What Qualifications May a State Place on the Receipt of Benefits?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Drug Test? Who? Me?

This question comes up repeatedly, and in the context of the Florida law requiring drug testing for the recipients of public assistance, it’s become a point of controversy.  As I reported Monday, a Federal judge has temporarily suspended the Florida law pending further review.  My opinion on that judge’s competence aside, I wish to understand the nature of the mindset that leads a person to believe they have an entitlement to “benefits” or assistance from the public treasury without some reasonable expectation that they are waiving certain claims to privacy.  The Florida judge raised the 4th Amendment’s protections, but I submit to you that there is no 4th Amendment issue in play.

I simply don’t understand how people are able to concoct legal justifications that have no basis in fact or in law.  Here is the text of the 4th Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Obviously, it is the contention of the ACLU in this Florida case that the requirement for drug-testing to receive assistance constitutes a 4th Amendment violation of the right of the plaintiff to be secure in his person from unreasonable search.   This is a nonsensical claim, however.  This is not a qualified search, because the applicant is not being required to submit to the search(drug test.) He simply won’t get the “benefits” or assistance. End of story. Full stop. A search, to be covered under the 4th Amendment, must be a compulsory search.  Period.  What the Florida law requires in this case is that to complete your application for assistance, you must consent to the search(drug test.) You are not legally required to apply for “benefits” or assistance.  You can walk down the street to your church, or go ask your family for help, or any number of things, but it isn’t relevant to the issue at hand.

Case in point: The Federal Government requires employers to submit Social Security Numbers for verification of a person’s qualification to work in the United States on the basis of legal residency.  You are not required by law to furnish your social security number to a prospective employer, unless you want the job.  Some spiffy ACLU attorney could certainly go make that case, but I doubt that will happen, since it doesn’t fit the agenda of the communistic ACLU.

Of course, going back to the application for public assistance, I wonder why the ACLU doesn’t argue that there’s a Fourth Amendment issue in terms of other qualifications as well.  After all, the fourth amendment guarantees you the right to be free from search and seizures not only of your person and property, but also your effects.  Why does this matter?  In most jurisdictions, Florida included, applicants for assistance are required to furnish copies of their 1040’s, and to demonstrate their impoverished state by virtue of a lack of income.  To establish this lacking, they are required to furnish documentation that can be verified and qualified.

Why don’t they make the argument that the income verification requirement for assistance also subjects applicants to an unreasonable search?  No answer.  This sort of stupidity can be extended indefinitely, but the simplest form of an answer to all of this remains: This is not a fourth amendment issue by virtue of the fact that one’s application for assistance (or “benefits”) is entirely voluntary.  End of story. End of hunt. NEXT!

Please, by all means, feel free to explain to me how this is a Fourth Amendment issue once you include the fact that the application for assistance is voluntary.  If you can’t do that, you’re barking up the wrong tree, and I suggest that you and your ACLU pals go back to finding other unique ways in which to undermine both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.  This issue is resolved, irrespective of the legal meanderings of a dunderhead Federal judge.

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Federal Judge Should Be Impeached for Gross Incompetence

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Impeach This Judge!

In Florida, the State had enacted a law requiring those on public assistance to subject themselves to drug screenings.  Federal Judge Mary Scriven has temporarily suspended enforcement of the law on the basis that it may violate the protections of the 4th Amendment from unreasonable searches and seizures.  I will tell you that my opinion is that this judge should be impeached, removed from the bench, and have any license she has ever held to practice law revoked on the basis of extreme incompetence.  She said the State of Florida failed to explain how these drug screenings should be exempt from the protections of the 4th Amendment.  I’ve got news for Judge Scribble:  A four-year-old with an advanced degree in coloring books can figure this one out.  I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on television, but I know stupidity when I see it.  Judge Mary, let me help you out a bit, since you seem confused about the role of government and under what circumstances a person waives certain protections:

There is no right to public assistance.  That being the case, when you show up at government’s door begging for “temporary” help, file an application for assistance, and beg the people of the state in question for food, clothing, housing, lodging, or any of the many other things we provide out of the largess of leftists’ hearts, and our wallets, there IS NO EXPECTATION  of privacy when applying for PUBLIC support.  The applicant doesn’t have any obligation to be drug-tested.  We have no obligation to provide them assistance.  They can walk away, both without the drug-testing and the assistance.  It’s very simple, Judge Screech, when you live on my dime, you live by my rules.  I can require a prospective employee pass a drug screening, or a polygraph, and similar, and that’s because they’re coming to me for something.  They want something from me, and I can place conditions upon it.  You want the job?  Pee in the cup?  You want the Food assistance?  Pee in the cup.  It’s the same principle.  That’s it. End of the hunt.  It’s no more complicated than this, and all of your malingering about with the law is absurd.

Honestly, this is why Presidents matter.  Do you know who appointed this genius?  Clinton? No. Obama? No, nope, no way.  This ignoramus in a black robe was appointed by George W. Bush in 2008, to fill the seat vacated by Patricia Fawset.  As you can already guess, it was the ACLU on the plaintiff’s side of the case.  This should have been a summary dismissal, but as usual, what we have here is another useless jurist who should be tossed off of the bench.  She won’t be, of course.  We’ll be stuck with her until she dies or moves up. This ruling may in fact be her submission of a sort of judicial resume, if you know what I mean.