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Federal Judge Blocks Florida Law Requiring Welfare Applicants to Pass Drug Test

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — A federal judge temporarily blocked Florida's new law that requires government assistance applicants to pass a drug test before receiving the benefits on Monday, saying it may violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Judge Mary Scriven's ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that claims the law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test.

Nearly 1,600 applicants have refused to take the test since testing began in mid-July, but they aren't required to say why. Thirty-two applicants failed the test and more than 7,000 have passed, according to the Department of Children and Families. The majority of positives were for marijuana.

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