Posted by: johnhourihan | January 23, 2015

Drug-testing welfare recipients

If you want to drug-test welfare recipients, and you feel we should live by our constitution please read the following.

You can’t do both.

Constitutional challenges to suspicionless governmental drug testing most often focus on issues of personal privacy and Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches.”
For searches to be reasonable, they generally must be based on individualized suspicion unless the government can show a “special need” warranting a deviation from the norm.
However, governmental benefit programs like TANF, SNAP, unemployment compensation, and housing assistance do not naturally evoke special needs grounded in public safety that the Supreme Court has recognized in the past. Thus, if lawmakers wish to pursue the objective of reducing the likelihood of taxpayer funds going to individuals who abuse drugs through drug testing, legislation that only requires individuals to submit to a drug test based on an individualized suspicion of drug use is less likely to run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, governmental drug testing procedures that restrict the sharing of test results and limit the negative consequences of failed tests to the assistance program in question would be on firmer constitutional ground.




  1. The constitution is a work in progress– when ever the need arises. Ever changing in ways that have nothing to do with any issue at hand. The issue is giving assistance to those in need, like civilized people do. At least I’ve heard that said. Instead of enforcing laws that deal with those that abuse that assistance “knowingly” lets just try humiliating all that receive assistance. After all we really just want to stop giving out this help altogether. We just wish those that are in need would just go off and starve in silence. It worked in the old old old days! If the media and bleeding hearts would stop reminding us of these people’s existence this could happen! Lets not take civilized too seriously!!!!!! After all how civilized are we, really.

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