Poor people not excluded from Constitution

Here we go again.

On April 15, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Georgia law that required candidates to be tested for illegal drugs before they could run for public office. In “Chandler v. Miller”, the court ruled that the tests amounted to an unreasonable, unjustified search of a person’s body that is forbidden under the Fourth Amendment.

“However well-meant, the candidate drug test Georgia has devised diminishes personal privacy for a symbol’s sake,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the 8-1 decision, joined by justices such as Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

On Monday — almost 15 years to the day from the Chandler decision — Gov. Nathan Deal signed another bill into law that is likely to meet the same fate, and for the same reason.

The legislation in question — House Bill 861 — forces welfare applicants in Georgia to submit to a drug test in order to continue receiving state benefits. According to one of its champions, state Sen. John Albers of Roswell, “this legislation will better serve those who are in need by providing a ‘hand-up’ instead of a ‘hand-out’.”

Such condescending rhetoric aside, the legislation was not motivated by a desire to help people. It was intended to be punitive, to make people feel better by making the already hard lives of other people even more difficult. Put bluntly, it was motivated by a sour belief that poor people are poor because the rest of us have been insufficiently mean to them.

I have a hard time believing that, especially when you look at who we’re targeting with this law.

To be eligible for TANF — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — a mother of two children would have to have a gross income of less than $784 a month, which works out to the less-than-grand total of $9,408 a year. Try raising two kids on that. Clearly, the people that we’re picking on with this law are already very poor.

As a TANF recipient, this mother of two would also be required to work or attend training classes for a minimum of 30 hours a week. If she has a car used to travel to work or training, it cannot be valued above $4,650. And the lifetime limit for receiving TANF benefits is four years.

And how much money would this recipient receive? According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, the average TANF benefit is $225 a month; the maximum benefit for a mother raising two children would be $285 a month. It’s not exactly the foundation of a life of leisure at taxpayer expense.

Now, should people in that predicament be using drugs? No. Nor should a lot of other people in a lot of other situations. But under the American system, that doesn’t give government the right to assume that its citizens are using drugs until they have proved otherwise. That’s not how things are supposed to work in this country.

At its heart, the new law is a classic case of a big, intrusive government at the expense of individual liberty. As Americans, you do not sacrifice your constitutional rights when you apply for a government benefit. You cannot be forced to surrender to a search of your home, your car or your body, and you cannot be assumed to be guilty of a crime until you prove to government that you are innocent.

Furthermore, those liberties do not vary depending on your income level or social status. They apply to all, or none. Nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights can be construed to justify such a step.

Yet the poor are the only class of people required to be drug-tested to receive state aid or money. Why? For example, every rationale offered up to defend a requirement that TANF recipients be tested can also be used to justify drug-testing of HOPE scholarship recipients, most of whom come from middle-class backgrounds.

Saving money? Imagine how much money we could save the financially struggling HOPE program by striking all the high school and college students who might have experimented with marijuana.

Discouraging drug use? Mandatory drug tests of all HOPE applicants, with the knowledge that Mom and Dad would learn the results, would certainly advance that goal, I would think. And drug use surely interferes with academic achievement, right?

Yet drug testing of TANF recipients is gleefully embraced, while the other idea isn’t even on the radar. That says a lot about the real motivation behind the legislation.

– Jay Bookman

637 comments Add your comment

Simple Truths

April 18th, 2012
7:13 am

Based on how Congress (dis)functions, maybe drug tests for them wasn’t such a bad idea after all

Simple Truths

April 18th, 2012
7:14 am

First. And the foul!

Road Scholar

April 18th, 2012
7:16 am

Jay, how does this compare with Florida’s law? What have they spent on drug tests per year, and how much money has the positive tests saved? That is another way of looking at the B/C ratio.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
7:18 am

that doesn’t give government the right to assume that its citizens are using drugs until they have proved otherwise. That’s not how things are supposed to work in this country.

yebbut… [sigh]

I was listening to Chris Hayes being interviewed by Sam Seder a few minutes ago, and one of them, forget who, hit upon something. We live in a “meritocracy.” That is, “merit” is basically defined as “stuff that the privileged have, or value.”

And if you ain’t got it, your opinions, your rights, don’t mean squat.

So pee in a cup, because dumbass Georgian elites felt a need to pass a law, you stupid peasant.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
7:19 am

Georgia: We do our best to keep you poor, and we hate you for it.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:21 am

Road, two points:

1.) The Florida evidence is mixed. A pretty small number of those who have taken the test have failed it, but a rather large number of recipients have, for whatever reason, chosen not to take it and have forfeited benefits as well.

2.) In terms of constitutional rights/equal protection, none of that matters anyway, which is why I didn’t address it here.

Whatever

April 18th, 2012
7:26 am

I want to help people, especially children. However, what is wrong with having the expectation that people receiving these funds will not be on drugs? I don’t understand how that’s an issue.

Maybe we should raise our expectations while also helping one another instead of just throwing money at a problem without getting to the possible heart of the matter.

I have several family members who have been or on drugs and it’s really hard to assist them in that state. They need a consistent voice to show them a better way. If this law can do that then it seems like a good thing. I feel pity for anyone who is addicted because I’ve seen what it can do but I don’t think enabling the addiction is the answer.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:28 am

Whatever, that might be a more valid point had the law included provisions to actually help people with their drug addiction. Instead, it states plainly that “Neither the department nor the state shall be responsible for providing or paying for substance abuse treatment.”

Because, you know, we care about poor people so much.

Whatever

April 18th, 2012
7:28 am

Jay,

Reason 1….do you think it’s possible they didn’t take the test because they would have failed? I’m not saying that is the reason but it makes a lot of sense.

Do we want people to be able to buy drugs with money that is supposed to help them and their children? That’s another way to look at it.

HDB

April 18th, 2012
7:28 am

What really cracks me up is that conservatives want government OUT of our personal lives….except when they contrive an issue! Lest they forget about the presumption of innocence….and the right against self-incrimination!! Who’s shredding the constitution now???

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
7:29 am

Mandatory drug tests of all HOPE applicants

That’s a pretty good example, but let’s go a bit deeper, and be a little more inclusive.

I know that there are lots of conservatives who don’t equate getting a tax break with getting a check from the government, but when it comes to accounting and cash flow, I don’t really see that it matters.

To that end, I don’t see anyone requiring parents to be drug-tested in order to claim their kids as dependents; but, don’t we want parents to be drug-free?

Why isn’t this a pre-condition for getting this tax break?

Same deal for home-owners. If you’re going to be entrusted to have a house of your own, and take on the responsibility of a mortgage (and get yourself a fat mortgage interest deduction) is it asking too much to drug test recipients before we provide this largesse?

Hey, it’s just — what’d I hear? — seventeen lousy bucks to pay for the drug test? no big deal. Not that big a piece out of your hide. Cough it up.

Whatever

April 18th, 2012
7:29 am

Jay,

Gotcha. That’s too bad. Prisons are already too full of people who are just users. Definitely need a good way to help them.

If the provision also offered drug addiction assistance would you have been in favor of the law?

vracer

April 18th, 2012
7:31 am

Can’t do the crime, don’t do the crime. Drug taking, cartel and terroris aiding scum deserve NONE of our assistance.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
7:32 am

However, what is wrong with having the expectation that people receiving these funds will not be on drugs?

nothing wrong with the expectation. It’s the legal mechanism discussed here, the presumption of guilt + the requirement to prove one’s innocence in exchange for something one is legally entitled to, that should trouble any American.

And the propensity by our “representatives” (spit, heave, barf) to pass idiotic laws like this should trouble any Georgian.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:33 am

Whatever, it would have made the law easier to accept as an actual effort to help people, rather than an attempt to kick those already down.

On the other hand, I’m not sure whether that change clears the constitutional hurdle. It might, especially if the law said they could continue benefits as long as they remained in treatment.

TaxPayer

April 18th, 2012
7:37 am

And don’t forget, if a poor person’s test results come back positive, the state must apprehend this criminal for use of illegal drugs and put this criminal behind bars and charge this criminal for room and board plus a meal plan and health insurance while there and then do the same for this criminal’s kids. Not to worry though. The state can then confiscate the criminal’s pricey transportation and auction it off to cover the cost of future drug testing. Brought to you by your Republican party, hardly at work solving their erectile dysfunction without the use of Viagra.

lynnie gal

April 18th, 2012
7:37 am

It’s a real misuse of our tax dollars–not only to require and pay for drug tests (who gets the kickback from making that bill a law, from drug testing companies?) but it is a waste of money for legal expenses. These clowns know that this personal violation of liberty will be challenged in court, and eventually overturned. Conservatives are wasting our tax dollars on nonsense like this!

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
7:39 am

This will not stand.

It will be challenged and fall.

And AGAIN Georgians will be publically shamed.

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
7:40 am

The neocons trying to humiliate people?

Tell me it ain’t so!

Contraceptive rights, rights to an abortion, women in general and now voting rights. That is what these shameless Republicans do – try to shame others.

And that one of their more shameful, crooked politicians in our state’s history is spitting on case law and wasting money on this, says a lot about him.

That’s not how things are supposed to work in this country.

Nope. Not when quasi-fascists are running the show…

And the apparently veracity-challenged Mr. Albers of John’s Creek Hell?

It now appears that one of the candidates, John Albers of Roswell, may have tried too hard to win the seat by embellishing his resume and making exaggerated claims.

On his Facebook page, Albers lists “University of Louisville ‘90″ under “Education,” and in an interview with Appen Newspapers in May, Albers claimed to be a graduate of Louisville, according to the newspaper.

Albers gives his birth date as August 18, 1972, which means he would have been 17 years old at the time of his graduation.

University of Louisville spokesman Mark Hebert confirmed that Albers attended UL from 1990-92, but said he did not graduate.

Colin Braithwaite, a former business partner of Albers from the national consulting firm Dalco, told The Beacon that Albers routinely misrepresented his academic credentials to potential clients during presentations. Braithwaite said he worried that the embellishments could be used as a basis to void contracts.

“Albers represented a lot of half-truths,” Braithwaite said.

Braithwaite and his two remaining partners in Dalco filed a civil suit against Albers in Fulton Superior Court, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, computer and trade secret theft, and defamation. Albers counter-sued, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy to defraud. The suits were settled out of court.

Rhetorical question. Can’t you Georgia Republicans find ANY non-lowlifes to run for office?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
7:40 am

Don’t these politicians do their homework? A little Googling shoulda turned up this old case to show this was a futile waste of taxpayer dollars to score political points with the skeered white male crowd.

What are their interns doing if not looking into this kinda stuff? Oh, I don’t want to know? Ok.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:40 am

“And don’t forget, if a poor person’s test results come back positive, the state must apprehend this criminal for use of illegal drugs and put this criminal behind bars and charge this criminal for room and board plus a meal plan and health insurance while there and then do the same for this criminal’s kids.

Taxpayer, the law states that the results will be kept private and “Such results shall not be used as a part of a criminal investigation or criminal prosecution.”

Sadly in ATL

April 18th, 2012
7:41 am

Somehow Jay feels we owe more “rights” to some people than others. i am subject to random testing. many of us are subject to mandatory testing if there is an accident at work. it is a condition of our employment. what conditions have been established to receive these benefits? …. and jay- “for whatever reason”- wow are you getting shallow. pleae list two others besides they will fail the test.

choices- we all have them- maybe we should really test your “beliefs” by making it optional for taxes to be for certain programs and not others and that is what we spend on them rather than the “need” determined by a bureaucrat with a calculator promoted by a person and lobbyists that demands them

I remember

April 18th, 2012
7:42 am

By your logic is it ok for the government under the constitution to offer different programs for people by income class or is it ok for some citizens to be taxed at a higher level than others because of their income. Or might you consider whether it’s a violation of the equal protection clause to give hiring preference or contract preference to one race or gender over another?
I bet that Jay is not quite as passionately committed to equal protection as an absolute principle as he might have us believe.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:43 am

Finn, you’ve got to turn up your cynicism a notch or two. If the law makes these guys look tough on the poor, then in their minds it is not “a futile waste of taxpayer dollars” no matter what happens in the courts.

Brosephus™

April 18th, 2012
7:44 am

Jay

‘Bout damn time somebody spoke out about this. I thought the whole purpose of the Constitution was to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Regardless to what I “think” people are doing with that money, it does not rise to pi$$ing on the Constitution. I’d love to hear our leaders argue the Constitutionality of this piece of crap right after lecturing on how the ACA violates the Constitution. This is pure bullsh*t!!!

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:45 am

Sadly, private enterprise can do many things that government is precluded by the Constitution from doing.

Do you wish to change that? Do you want to make government more powerful than it already is? That is the direct consequence of the changes that you apparently seek.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
7:46 am

Sadly

Darkly interesting twist on the “I got mine argument” you got there fella.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
7:47 am

an attempt to kick those already down.

Oh, you mean the christian way?

Mick

April 18th, 2012
7:47 am

Nice to see our kissin cousin georgia, is on board with this charade. Instead of solving real problems like better teacher salaries or more funding for education, we get these punitive legislators who have more in common with the prudish pilgrims than the brilliant enlightened thinkers who crafted an exceptional constitution. Regression, that is where our lawmakers reside…

TaxPayer

April 18th, 2012
7:48 am

Taxpayer, the law states that the results will be kept private and “Such results shall not be used as a part of a criminal investigation or criminal prosecution.”

That sounds like a breach of civic duty to deliberately and willfully ignore criminal activity.

Sadly in ATL

April 18th, 2012
7:49 am

and your two reasons for whatever reason? what are they?

TaxPayer

April 18th, 2012
7:51 am

Well, as long as our legislators cite the appropriate scripture to justify their actions…

Normal, Plain and Simple

April 18th, 2012
7:51 am

All I’m going to say about this is that it is discrimination, pure and simple. “If they need assistance, they are obviously not trying or are on drugs” mindset is the majority thinking of our “leaders”. Never mind that the lack of education due to any number of negative situations contribute more to why one can’t get ahead. Spend that drug testing money on something more useful and humanitarian, like schools and educational/training programs for the disadvantaged. Seems to me that’s the right thing to do.

Lyman Hall

April 18th, 2012
7:52 am

“As Americans, you do not sacrifice your constitutional rights when you apply for a government benefit. You cannot be forced to surrender to a search of your home, your car or your body, and you cannot be assumed to be guilty of a crime until you prove to government that you are innocent.”
.
Bookman needs to get out more.
Has he even flown lately?……..or drove through Braselton or Palmetto or any other poop-splat revenue-starved town in a shiny new car with a black friend.?..or been charged by the IRS.
.
And don’t be so sure about this law being struck down.
The Leviathon is cash hungry.
Someone has to pay for the empire and the Supreme Court’s overpaid salaries.

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
7:52 am

“Mandatory drug tests of all HOPE applicants” would accomplish nothing, Jay. We’ve been through this before. Students don’t see HOPE money…it’s applied DIRECTLY to the student accounts. There’s 0 chance that students use HOPE money for drugs.

Also, the person applying for the drug test in this situation is the one paying for the drug test, not taxpayers. Why’d you leave that part out, Jay?

Brosephus™

April 18th, 2012
7:55 am

Also, the person applying for the drug test in this situation is the one paying for the drug test, not taxpayers. Why’d you leave that part out, Jay?

So, as long as it’s not you having to pay to have your Constitutional rights trampled, you don’t have a problem with it, right?

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
7:56 am

Somehow Jay feels we owe more “rights” to some people than others.

you forgot to call civil rights “special rights.” or is that phrase no longer in fashion?

Jay

April 18th, 2012
7:57 am

Not sure I see your point, Peadawg. You think it’s a good thing that we will make poor people pay extra for these drug tests?

In addition, you’re wrong. If the recipient passes the drug test, they are repaid the cost of the test by the state. In addition, Medicaid will pay the cost of the tests for those eligible.

Does that answer your question?

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
7:57 am

It is always interesting to me how the haters feign to be concerned about the poor.

After all they all have cell phones, flat screen TVs and live better than the poor people in the rest of the world! Damn ingrates!

The great irony is that their beloved heroes, both in the private and public sectors, are helping a GREAT deal (get it?) of them find out first hand.

And ever since GWB turned the most sacred document ever written – the Constitution of the United States of America – into toilet paper for him and Dick Cheney, the fake conservatives have very little use for much of it, including that uncomfortable part about unreasonable search and seizure…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
7:58 am

Peadawg

Still should test HOPE applicants and their parents.

Why you ask, as the money does right to the school?

Because, it may just be that the money that pays the tuition
frees up money at home to build a 3 bedroom 2 bath meth lab.

Fungibility! Fungibility!

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:00 am

” If the recipient passes the drug test, they are repaid the cost of the test by the state. In addition, Medicaid will pay the cost of the tests for those eligible.” – Ah, ok. The AJC article the other day didn’t say that. It just said the person applying pays the $17.

So you were wrong on HOPE, I was wrong on who pays.

Tie game, Jay.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
8:00 am

OMG a MANDATE to buy a drug test….but….but…but….

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
8:01 am

Well, as long as our legislators cite the appropriate scripture to justify their actions…

…but don’t go citin’ that KO-ran, ‘cuz it’s all mooslemy and stuff and we’re gonna have a GA law to make sure you don’t.

Mick

April 18th, 2012
8:01 am

IN florida, our legislators did an interesting flip; while requiring all state workers to be drug tested, they exempted the legislature and governor. Do they not see the hypocrisy? Or rather, do they even care? My guess is that it really doesn’t matter to them, do as I say not as I do. Republican legislators, the worst curse americans can ever be given…

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:02 am

“Still should test HOPE applicants and their parents.” – Again, don’t see the point since the student never sees HOPE money.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
8:02 am

Mick, in their defense, they probably did so because of the Supreme Court opinion cited above.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
8:03 am

Are they testing only for illegal drugs?

I could show up all hopped up on legal pain pills and legal alcohol and still get my check?

carlosgvv

April 18th, 2012
8:03 am

If Big Business can force me to have a drug test in order to gain employment, I don’t mind welfare applicants having to be tested before receiving benefits.

Jay, you told Sadly that private enterprise can do this and the Govt. cannot because of the Constitution. Are you suggesting Big Business is exempt from following our Constitution?

Recon 0311 2533

April 18th, 2012
8:04 am

Many if not most employers require drug testing. Should that practice be unconstitutional? Since this is the public’s money providing assistance it seems that taking a drug test is a small price for an applicant to pay.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
8:05 am

Pea, the point of the law legislation isn’t just to keep people from using the gov money to buy drugs, it’s also intended to limit the number of qualified applicants – that’s where it would be beneficial to HOPE.

Road Scholar

April 18th, 2012
8:06 am

If the applicant pays for it, it violates self incrimination, let alone illegal search!

Jay, still what are the numbers…costs to date, money allegedly saved, the number who did not get tests?

George P. Burdell

April 18th, 2012
8:06 am

This is one of those laws that make Georgia look bad. Its also the perfect example of why so many fiscal conservatives find no home in today’s Republican party. Just another example of people being against a more powerful government unless of course that power happens to further their own personal agenda. I truly believe that anyone that supports this law either has not thought through the potential ramifications or is too blinded by personal bias that reason doesn’t come into the equation. The fact that our leadership thought this was a good idea is even scarier. I guess they are just ticked off that Sunday alcohol sales have swept through resoundingly and they need a new pet project.

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:06 am

If she has a car used to travel to work or training, it cannot be valued above $4,650.

Swedish chef says: Vurt da Furk?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
8:07 am

Many if not most employers require drug testing.

Yeah, private. You can make up a lot of your own rules if I’m under contract to work for you – that’s a signed agreement.

Jay

April 18th, 2012
8:07 am

In many ways, Carlos, yes, Big Business is exempt from the Constitution. It is a document that restrains government power, not private enterprise power.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
8:07 am

Pea

Yep, he does not see the money.

Does not need to SEE the HOPE money to do drugs.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
8:08 am

If Big Business can force me to have a drug test in order to gain employment

For all those who will make some variant of this argument–

if we Americans had a collective sense of self-respect and, as a consequence, gave a good crap about workers’ rights? Businesses wouldn’t be able to do that, not to the extent that they do today, not unless there were a compelling public safety issue in the balance.

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:08 am

“Pea, the point of the law legislation isn’t just to keep people from using the gov money to buy drugs” – Huh? That’s the main argument I’ve heard for this bill.

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:09 am

But under the American system, that doesn’t give government the right to assume that its citizens are using drugs until they have proved otherwise.

THIS

THIS THIS THIS

Mighty Righty

April 18th, 2012
8:09 am

Jay, many if not all employers require potential employees to submit to a drug test. Federal law requires truck drivers be randomly drug tested. Many jobs require random drug testing. I would be surprised if government workers both state and federal are not subject to the same types of testing. I doubt people are required to take money from the state and so the tests are only required if the recipient wants to participate in the program. Just a few days ago, a man in Massachusetts used his welefare credit card to obtain cash to pay his bail. He was in jail for drug offenses. The law seems reasonable to me and should only be opposed by drug addicts and drug dealers.

TaxPayer

April 18th, 2012
8:10 am

I can’t see no Georgia law protecting no social worker or lab technician, etc., that learns, for example, that a mother applying for benefits is using cocaine and does not at least report that information to a higher up. Just like someone in a college sport not reporting suspicious or illegal activity.

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:10 am

“Does not need to SEE the HOPE money to do drugs.” – So, if HOPE money isn’t used to buy drugs, why do you care? Your grasping at straws now, Granny.

Mick

April 18th, 2012
8:10 am

I didn’t mind getting drug tested when I was in the service. Once I got out, I swore I’d never pee in a cup again but that is not the reality. I really do love this country, however, this knee jerk over reaction is just another sign of the times. This trending needs to be reversed or at the very minimum, stopped dead in its tracks…

Sadly in ATL

April 18th, 2012
8:10 am

conditions- even jay has them from his employer. he gets benefits for perfomring /meeting his conditions. what part of equal protection am i missing? govt enforces laws on private companies if they mistreat employees. the twisting he does is interesting. always the victim. yesterday was tax day. hope jay and his cool aid posse paid their fair share honestly and gave generously to charities they believe in. oh you’d rather the govt handles that charitable part and not let inividual choice direct their support by exercising individual freedom of choice.

Brosephus™

April 18th, 2012
8:11 am

Many if not most employers require drug testing. Should that practice be unconstitutional?

Yes!! A drug search is considered an intrusive search in the legal world. There should be a reasonable burden of proof that has to be met in order to compel a person to submit any sample for drug testing. The private sector jumped on board with drug testing because of legislation passed that required drug testing for certain public sector jobs.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
8:12 am

The law seems reasonable to me and should only be opposed by drug addicts and drug dealers.

“Those who would deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.”

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
8:12 am

If anyone here would like to contact Mr. Albers as I just did:

http://www.votealbers.com/

Why are you BIG government fake conservatives so opposed to liberty?

If you want to cede yours, that’s fine by me. Sell tickets. And tell your fellow Republican Mr. Obama to at least give back to we the people the right to habeus corpus again…

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:14 am

All drug testing should be banned. NFL. MLB. Private sector. Public sector. ALL. Since it’s unconstitutional. Right?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
8:14 am

Pea

Is your wife on HOPE? Does she do drugs?

No straws, son. None at all.

Think.

If you don’t have to pay 5, 10, 15 grand for school – might that free up money to buy drugs? Do you think all HOPE scholars and their parents would test clean?

If we were to send welfare payments directly to landlords and grocery stores would that work for you, as the welfare recipients would not SEE the money.

It ain’t rocket science.

BuckeyeinGa

April 18th, 2012
8:14 am

Private Business and the Govt are two different things. If Augusta was owned by the government they wouldn’t be able to not allow any women members.

Recon 0311 2533

April 18th, 2012
8:15 am

“Yeah, private. You can make up a lot of your own rules if I’m under contract to work for you – that’s a signed agreement.”

Those who receive public sustenance are expected to seek employment where they’re likely required to submit to a drug test by an employer in both the private and public sector. Public financial assistance is meant to be temporary, so whats the difference?

Jay

April 18th, 2012
8:16 am

I’m not at all wrong on HOPE, Peadawg.

Your assertion seems based on the idea that because the actual physical dollars don’t flow through the HOPE recipient’s bank account — many thousands of dollars more than TANF recipients receive, by the way — it is somehow acceptable for HOPE recipients to use drugs while it is unacceptable that TANF recipients do so.

That fails any number of logic and reasoning tests.

BuckeyeinGa

April 18th, 2012
8:16 am

Just another example of people being against a more powerful government unless of course that power happens to further their own personal agenda.

We see this time and time again. Great statement

carlosgvv

April 18th, 2012
8:16 am

“In many ways—-Big Business is exempt from the Constitution”

Jay, you seem so upset that welfare applicants might need to be tested for drugs before receiving benefits. I am far more upset that Big Business is so powerful that in many ways, they are exempt from our Constitution. Something is very wrong here.

Brosephus™

April 18th, 2012
8:17 am

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/drugs/screen92.asp

The majority of employers across the United States are NOT required to drug test and many state and local governments have statutes that limit or prohibit workplace testing, unless required by state or Federal regulations for certain jobs. Also, drug testing is NOT required under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. On the other hand, most private employers have the right to test for a wide variety of substances…

The current law in the private sector generally permits non-union companies to require applicants and/or employees to take drug tests. All employers should consult with legal advisors to ensure that they comply with any applicable state or local laws and design their testing programs to withstand legal challenges. In unionized workforces, the implementation of testing programs must be negotiated. Even when testing is required by Federal regulations, certain aspects of how the policy is implemented must be agreed upon through collective bargaining.

It’s a sad day when the “evil” unions are the ones protecting the Constitutional rights of workers while everybody else is busy trampling on them. No wonder the business community and the GOP is so gung ho about busting unions. They need to get the last defenders of the Constitution out of their way so they can do as they wish to employees.

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
8:18 am

George, well said and agreed.

…what part of equal protection am i missing?

Take it up with the final arbiter – the US Supreme Court.

…govt enforces laws on private companies if they mistreat employees.

Kinda, sorta. Until you fake conservatives gutted most consumer protection groups, the labor movement itself and the freedom to organize to speak out against said mistreatment.

TaxPayer

April 18th, 2012
8:18 am

The HOPE recipient, like planned parenthood abortion recipients, do not need to touch, see or feel that particular dollar bill in order to receive said immoral service since receipt of said money in and of itself allows for the use of other money for said immoral activity. Republicans have already established that as a point of fact in all subsequent arguments.

Recon 0311 2533

April 18th, 2012
8:19 am

“Yes!! A drug search is considered an intrusive search in the legal world.”

So, you’re saying that private sector employers along with public sector employers are breaking the law when they require drug testing as a condition of employment?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 18th, 2012
8:19 am

So most Americans don’t watch silly Fox News?
A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/science/earth/americans-link-global-warming-to-extreme-weather-poll-says.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:19 am

Whatever: Reason 1….do you think it’s possible they didn’t take the test because they would have failed?

The “what do you have to hide?!?” argument is getting old. I mean that’s the same crap used in the communist witch hunt. We need to stop that crap.

And don’t forget to listen to the Rule Enforcer Formerly known as That Black Guy, when he comes along to say I just made a rule, and tells you to follow the rules. :D

Brosephus™

April 18th, 2012
8:21 am

Recon

Read what I posted from the Dept of Labor’s website. Drug testing came about because of testing requirements for PUBLIC sector jobs. There was no requirement for private sector employment. The private sector started testing on their own because they saw the government doing it. If it’s required by law, then they are not breaking the law. If it’s not required, then in my opinion, yeah they are breaking the law as they are violating a person’s 4th Amendment right to unreasonable search of their person.

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:22 am

Lyman Hall: or been charged by the IRS.

Silly libertarian…. The IRS is a duly constuituted government agency empowered to enforce paying taxes by the Congressional authority under the constitution. The Constitution has an amendment, the 16th Amendment, that was ratified by 42 states. The Constitution also specifically references the Congress’ ability to lay and collect taxes in Article I, Section 8.

So tell me again how that is somehow “sacrificing constituional rights.”

Recon 0311 2533

April 18th, 2012
8:22 am

Unless someone has something to hide they have no problem with a drug test. This is typical left wing ideological political correctness making something out of nothing.

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:22 am

“That fails any number of logic and reasoning tests.” – No it doesn’t. Student’s CAN NOT use HOPE money for drugs. Period. How can they if they don’t see it? TANF recipients CAN use TANF money for drugs.

“Is your wife on HOPE? Does she do drugs?” – Yes and no. My wife has been on HOPE her entire college career but it runs out after this semester since she’s over the 120 hour limit.

Granny and Jay, y’all are too funny.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
8:22 am

the “evil” unions are the ones protecting the Constitutional rights of workers

And to PD’s attempted point about the NFL and MLB and suchlike and their drug testing–those are agreements worked out during collective bargaining. If a majority of the players weren’t ok with it, they wouldn’t be undergoing those tests.

Geez..

April 18th, 2012
8:23 am

Your all IDIOTS…………

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
8:23 am

I am far more upset that Big Business is so powerful that in many ways, they are exempt from our Constitution. Something is very wrong here.

No, no, no, no, no!

Corporations are people, my friend.

They are our new sovereigns and Thomas Jefferson was 100% wrong. Accept your crumbs and be grateful.

Another rhetorical question. When did the GOP turned into a collective of sell outs and mental midgets?

kayaker 71

April 18th, 2012
8:23 am

And now Bookman is all upset about “big intrusive government at the expense of liberty”. Give me a friggin’ break. This is a hallmark conservative statement which libs rarely even go near. Government can do no wrong. They are the almighty voice of reason for the American citizen, are they not. They always know best. This is selective indignation at its worst/best, Bookman. There is a pretty good reason why Nathan Deal seems to think that those on the dole need to prove to the providers that they are not spending that $285/month on something other than things to support their family. If you want to support their drug habit, be my guest. Employers seem to think that it’s pretty important to weed out drug user before they hire and try to get by for a month in the military without peeing in a bottle. Are these people’s “liberties” being infringed? Not by a long shot.

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:23 am

Jay says in response to Peadawg: If the recipient passes the drug test, they are repaid the cost of the test by the state.

Peadawg: I’ll take an apology from yesterday when you told me I needed to have reading comprehension on this subject any time you’re ready.

Geez..

April 18th, 2012
8:24 am

AND SHOULD SHUT THE HECK UP………. NOBODY CARE ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS!

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:24 am

“So, you’re saying that private sector employers along with public sector employers are breaking the law when they require drug testing as a condition of employment?”

I certainly sounds like it should be.

JamVet

April 18th, 2012
8:25 am

Geez…meat, did you fail seventh grade English before you dropped out?

Lyman Hall

April 18th, 2012
8:25 am

Obama campaigned on stopping this kind of crap…………………..but he LIED.
Remember THAT when you vote for him in November.

“The odds are not bad,” observes Ethan Nadelmann, “that a young Barry Obama, using marijuana at Columbia, might have been arrested had the NYPD been conducting the number of marijuana arrests then that it is now.”

A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could have been a life-changing event for Obama, interrupting his education, impairing his job prospects, and derailing his political career before it began. It would not have been fair, but it would have spared us the sorry spectacle of a president who champions a policy he once called “an utter failure” and who literally laughs at supporters whose objections to that doomed, disastrous crusade he once claimed to share.

Inasmuch as I do pro bono work in the juvenile justice system, I experience first hand the absurdly destructive effects of the drug prohibition policy on young people and their families. We get the quality of political representatives that we deserve, but Obama’s disingenuousness and insensitivity with regard to the government’s drug prohibition is reprehensible even by the low standards by which we evaluate U.S. politicians. That no Republican Presidential candidate other than Ron Paul is willing to take Obama to task for his hypocrisy is a reflection of the sad state of political discourse in this country.
.
Trained Seals ……get the government and policies that they deserve.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 18th, 2012
8:25 am

Peadawg

From a comedian like yourself….that’s quite a compliment.

Thanks.

Peadawg

April 18th, 2012
8:26 am

” I’ll take an apology from yesterday when you told me I needed to have reading comprehension on this subject any time you’re ready.” – Sure thing Adam. I’ll apologize for the AJC since that’s where I read it.

Recon 0311 2533

April 18th, 2012
8:26 am

If a family doctor requires the patient to urinate in a cup as part of their physical examination and the patient refuses causing that doctor to deny providing any further examination, is that doctor breaking the law?

Jay

April 18th, 2012
8:26 am

“All drug testing should be banned. NFL. MLB. Private sector. Public sector. ALL. Since it’s unconstitutional. Right?

Peadawg, feigning stupidity is not an effective debating strategy.

Adam

April 18th, 2012
8:26 am

Recon: Many if not most employers require drug testing. Should that practice be unconstitutional? Since this is the public’s money providing assistance it seems that taking a drug test is a small price for an applicant to pay.

In my OPINION: This comes from t e false idea that anything the private sector decides to do is necessarily better than what the public sector decides to do, and therefore we need to make the public sector more like the private sector and/or eliminate parts of the public sector that don’t mirror the private sector.

That, to me, is simply a way to ensure someone gets their way, rather than having the possibility, even if it’s a smidgen, of more balance AGAINST someone in power’s way.

stands for decibels

April 18th, 2012
8:27 am

might that free up money to buy drugs?

I would not be totally shocked to read about near-future GA legislatures to enacting measures to ensure such folk don’t use that freed-up-by-HOPE money to get gay-married or have an abortion.

In fact I think I’ll be shocked if I don’t.

Paul

April 18th, 2012
8:27 am

Legalized bullying.

But not for long.

Don’t think I missed it, but is anybody who supports Albers’ bill going to support extending testing to HOPE applicants?