|A federal appeals court on Friday declared a random drug testing program for government workers at 28 U.S. Forest Service Job Corps centers unconstitutional.
The centers are home for at-risk youths from ages 16 to 24 from troubled environments. Residents are housed in remote rural locations and trained in various vocations.
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the small number of drug use incidents among a workforce of several thousand over many years does not establish a serious problem, much less an immediate crisis necessitating expansion of a random drug testing policy.
The government "has thus offered a solution in search of a problem," Judge Judith Rogers ruled.
Absent from the record, Rogers said, is any demonstration that government staffers using drugs influenced youths at the center to use them, in violation of the centers' Zero Tolerance Policy. She was joined by Judge Douglas Ginsburg.
Previously, the only center workers undergoing random drug testing were nurses and employees required to hold a commercial driver's license.