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Supreme Court will not hear FL Gov. Rick Scott’s appeal on drug tests for welfare recipients

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By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review an executive order issued by Florida Governor Rick Scott that had required all state employees take random drug tests.

The high court’s decision not to hear the case means a May 2013 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found the governor’s order to be too broad remains intact.

The appeals court said Scott, a Republican, could not require all employees to take tests, although it was justified for some workers, including those involved in law enforcement.

Scott defended his policy in a statement issued on Monday.

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“State employees should have the right to work in a safe and drug free environment, just like in any other business,” he said.

Litigation over which employees can be subject to testing will now continue in lower courts.

The 2011 executive order was aimed at all 85,000 state workers. It was challenged in court by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents almost 40,000 of the workers potentially affected.

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The union said the order violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Shalini Goel Agarwal, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represents the employees’ union, said in a statement that the question of whether a state can require all workers to submit to a drug test without a reason has long been settled.

“Without a threat to public safety or a suspicion of drug use, people can’t be required to sacrifice their constitutional rights in order to serve the people of Florida,” she said.

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The union did not challenge whether Scott could require drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive jobs.

The case is Scott v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-841.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Tom Brown)

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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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