Staver’s Idiotic Understanding of the 4th Amendment

At the end of February, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling declaring Florida’s drug testing requirement for those who receive financial assistance from the state to be unconstitutional. This was an absolutely open and shut case, so it’s not surprising that Mat Staver, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Larry Klayman or Orly Taitz, with the help of the Worldnutdaily, is spouting some serious nonsense over it.

The headline shows you the spin:

ACLU helps addicts go on state-funded highs

Oh, of course. That’s what they did. It has nothing to do with the 4th Amendment requirement that the government have probable cause before you perform a search. Indeed, Staver carefully avoids even looking at that issue with this argument that even a 12 year old would find laughable:

Three federal court judges unanimously held that the contested law violated Florida citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. But Staver told WND that the ACLU’s interpretation of “unreasonable” is far from what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

“Accountability is a biblical principle that formed the foundation of America,” argued Staver, who also serves as dean and professor of law at the Liberty University School of Law, specializing in constitutional law and foundations of law.

“The Founders believed in personal accountability,” he said. “The lack of accountability causes one to become lazy and entraps people … and that is what has happened with our welfare system.”

But that answer doesn’t even attempt to make a constitutional argument. By his “reasoning,” we could put cameras in everyone’s home to make sure they aren’t breaking the law. After all, “the founders believed in personal accountability” so we must hold everyone accountable for everything they do wrong. An unreasonable search or seizure is one for which the government has produced no evidence at all to show that it is necessary. Anything less would allow random house to house searches and cameras in our homes.

“Gov. Scott did the right thing,” asserted Staver, director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy. “His intent is obviously to address the drug problem among recipients of government programs.”

No it wasn’t. If that was his goal, he would have pushed for random drug tests for every state legislator, elected official and government employee. And for the executives of every company that receives taxpayer funds for any reason. But he didn’t. Because it’s really all about scapegoating poor people and making them look like shiftless and lazy bums. Never mind that study after study actually shows that people on welfare are about half as likely to use drugs than everyone else, or that the program costs far more than it saves.

And remember, this is an advocate of “smaller government” whose organization is called “Liberty Counsel.” And here he is advocating that the government be able to force you to give them bodily fluids for a search that is not only done without a warrant, but without any reason whatsoever to even suspect that any individual might be guilty of someone.

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