Lebron v. Secretary of the FL Dept. of Children and Families, No. 14-10322 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the State, challenging the constitutionality of Fla. Stat. 414.0652, which requires suspicionless drug testing of all applicants seeking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The court granted a preliminary injunction barring the application of the statute against plaintiff and the State stopped the drug-testing program. Then the district court granted final summary judgment to plaintiff, declaring the statute unconstitutional and permanently enjoined its enforcement. The court concluded that the State failed to meet its burden of establishing a substantial special need to drug test all TANF applicants without any suspicion; even viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the State has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique, or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population; the ordinary government interests claimed in this case are nothing like the narrow category of special needs that justify blanket drug testing of railroad workers, certain federal Customs employees involved in drug interdiction or who carry firearms, or involve surpassing safety interests; and the State cannot circumvent constitutional concerns by requiring that applicants consent to a drug test to receive TANF payments. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.