Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
In a classic show of political hypocrisy, Indiana State Representative Jud McMillin pulled his bill which would have created a pilot program for the drug testing of applicants for welfare after it was successfully amended to require drug testing for lawmakers as well.
“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” MicMillin, a Republican from Brookville, and sponsor of the original legislation, said.
McMillin seems to be taking the stance that this legislation with the amendment intact would not survive a constitutional challenge. This is based on a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in 1997 which prevented drug testing political candidates. They ruled in Chandler v. Miller that drug testing for political candidates was unconstitutional and thus struck down a Georgia law.
However, this is hardly applicable given that they would not be requiring political candidates to be tested, instead they would be requiring the individuals who had already been elected and were receiving government funds to be tested.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, McMillin stated, “I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” claiming that his original bill was painstakingly crafted to pass challenges on its legality and constitutionality.
This claim is quite questionable given that just last year a federal judge struck down a Florida law which would require across-the-board drug testing of anyone and everyone who even applied for welfare, citing Fourth Amendment concerns.
McMillin claims that his bill would not be struck down on similar grounds because the legislation creates a “tiered screening scheme” which allows people to opt-out of the random drug tests, although the consequences for doing so are unclear.
It seems quite unlikely to me that anyone would choose to get drug tested if they didn’t have to, as I don’t know of too many people who like to take time out of their day to experience the painful nature of government bureaucracy while urinating in a cup, likely under the watchful eye of someone intended to prevent people from sneaking in someone else’s urine.
McMillin’s legislation would apparently only require screening for those who declined random tests if they arouse “reasonable suspicion,” which could be anything from demeanor to criminal history to missing appointments at the welfare office.
One must wonder what exactly constitutes a demeanor that raises a reasonable suspicion. Could the demeanor of someone who appreciates their privacy and thus opts-out of random drug testing constitute reasonable suspicion?
McMillin’s legislation is not alone, indeed legislators have pursued drug testing for welfare recipients and applicants in over 30 states, as well as in Congress.
Some proposed bills have even gone as far as going after individuals who claim unemployment insurance or food stamps.
This is part of a broader trend of criminalizing people long before they have done anything wrong. The most disturbing incarnation of this can be seen in the public school system and in the technology known as “threat assessments” which seem like they were taken directly out of the pages of Philip K. Dick’s short story “Minority Report.”
The Huffington Post, as they are so quick to do, makes this into a partisan issue with Republicans crusading for drug testing and Democrats making up the laudable opposition.
However, I do not think that this is something which can be boiled down to parties, and indeed I find that doing so is nothing more than a distraction from the much grander scale of this trend.
It is also an attempt by the notoriously biased Huffington Post to glorify Democrats while demonizing Republicans.
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My readers are likely well aware of the complete sham that is the two-party system (better characterized as a two-party dictatorship), along with the fact that at the end of the day these two parties serve the same exact interests.
All one must do to realize this is look at the continuity of agenda between presidential administrations, something which I covered briefly in the first episode of End the Lie Radio, and which I will be covering in greater detail in coming installments.
The amendment to the drug testing legislation was introduced by Indiana State Representative Ryan Dvorak, a Democrat from South Bend.
“After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill,” Dvorak said.
“If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy,” he rightly noted, adding, “If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”
This only seems logical to me, as ultimately there is no difference between the government funds given to a State Representative and those given to the recipient of welfare.
All of it is paid for by the taxpayer, so why should the poor and disenfranchised be forced to sacrifice their dignity and privacy, while those who receive a lot more money do not?
Dvorak shares my impression of the Chandler v. Miller case, saying that McMillin was incorrect in believing that testing the legislature would be somehow unconstitutional given that the Georgia law was targeting candidates on the campaign trail and not people who were already in office.
McMillan claims that he is going to introduce a new bill this Monday which includes lawmakers as well, adding that he doesn’t have a problem with getting tested himself.
This begs the question: why pull the legislation in the first place?
McMillan’s actions represent the all-too-common double standard held by legislators wherein the American people must submit to laws which they do not.
Even more importantly, there is no significant evidence to support the contention that people receiving welfare or unemployment are more likely to use drugs, or that random drug testing would help prevent such a thing.
I find it laughable that a supposed Republican would be introducing a bill that would actually greatly increase government spending. It would be quite interesting to see if he has any ties to the corporation(s) that would get the contract for all the testing.
If anyone has any more information on this legislation or similar bills being pushed or you just have some thoughts to share on the topic please email me at: [email protected]
This article first appeared at EndtheLie.com