In a classic show of political hypocrisy, Indiana State Representative Jud McMillin pulled his bill which would have created a pilot program for the drug testing of applicants for welfare after it was successfully amended to require drug testing for lawmakers as well.
“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” MicMillin, a Republican from Brookville, and sponsor of the original legislation, said.
McMillin seems to be taking the stance that this legislation with the amendment intact would not survive a constitutional challenge. This is based on a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in 1997 which prevented drug testing political candidates. They ruled in Chandler v. Miller that drug testing for political candidates was unconstitutional and thus struck down a Georgia law.
However, this is hardly applicable given that they would not be requiring political candidates to be tested, instead they would be requiring the individuals who had already been elected and were receiving government funds to be tested.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, McMillin stated, “I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” claiming that his original bill was painstakingly crafted to pass challenges on its legality and constitutionality.
This claim is quite questionable given that just last year a federal judge struck down a Florida law which would require across-the-board drug testing of anyone and everyone who even applied for welfare, citing Fourth Amendment concerns.
McMillin claims that his bill would not be struck down on similar grounds because the legislation creates a “tiered screening scheme” which allows people to opt-out of the random drug tests, although the consequences for doing so are unclear.
It seems quite unlikely to me that anyone would choose to get drug tested if they didn’t have to, as I don’t know of too many people who like to take time out of their day to experience the painful nature of government bureaucracy while urinating in a cup, likely under the watchful eye of someone intended to prevent people from sneaking in someone else’s urine.
McMillin’s legislation would apparently only require screening for those who declined random tests if they arouse “reasonable suspicion,” which could be anything from demeanor to criminal history to missing appointments at the welfare office.
One must wonder what exactly constitutes a demeanor that raises a reasonable suspicion. Could the demeanor of someone who appreciates their privacy and thus opts-out of random drug testing constitute reasonable suspicion?
McMillin’s legislation is not alone, indeed legislators have pursued drug testing for welfare recipients and applicants in over 30 states, as well as in Congress.