Yes, it's another post for you Fourth Amendment junkies, er, enthusiasts. The excellent comments to my post yesterday have made me question whether the Fourth Amendment forbids police from placing a GPS device on one's car (although, like Whiskey Sam, I find Cato's brief on the case to be pretty persuasive).
Today's topic: mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients -- there's a law in Florida that requires it. But Judge Mary Scriven (a GWB-appointee) has just blocked the law as a possible Fourth Amendment violation. I'm not persuaded that there is any constitutional violation at all. I would argue that when government is doling out benefits, it can put conditions on those benefits, like being drug free. Indeed, the Washington Legal Foundation made that very argument in a similar case in Michigan. Alas, WLF narrowly lost the case before a closely divided 6th Circuit.
I hope that SCOTUS will, eventually, clarify that government doesn't "search" you when they put conditions on benefits. Similarly, the government doesn't "censor" you when they fail to subsidize your performance art (this was the argument that Karen Finley made against the NEA years ago). There are political and cultural implications. Liberals want it both ways -- government largesse and no strings attached. The only hope of turning people against the Nanny State is making them realize that He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.