TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on May 17, 2012

New legislation to test welfare recipients for drugs, which Gov. Haslam has said he will sign, may still face constitutional challenges. Laws passed in Michigan and Florida that allowed tests without any prior suspicion were either deemed unconstitutional or challenged in court after federal judges said the tests lacked the proper cause for conducting a search, as required by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. Previous versions of the Tennessee legislation faced similar questions from state Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr., who issued two opinions questioning the bill’s legality. The final bill was updated to ensure drug tests would be suspicion-based, which addressed the attorney general’s written concerns, a spokesperson said. Cooper has yet to weigh in formally on the current bill, but others say the new law might not withstand a constitutional challenge. The Tennessean has more