Federal judge rules Key West’s drug testing policy unconstitutional


The City of Key West’s policy that requires job applicants for city positions to be drug tested has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in Miami.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of Key West resident Karen Cabanas Voss, sued May challenging the policy as a violation of the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable government searches. In the suit, Voss stated that the city revoked a job offer for the position of recycling coordinator after she refused to submit to a “suspicionless” search of her bodily fluids (to provide a urine sample).

On Friday, U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King rejected the city’s argument that it could categorically drug test all job applicants, despite not being allowed to drug test all employees. The city had argued that the law does not allow the government to violate a person’s rights under the Fourth Amendment so long as prior notice of the impending violation is given.

The judge ruled that the city failed to demonstrate a special need or important governmental interest that justified the Fourth Amendment intrusion.


Read more Florida Keys stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category