Case Detail

Marchwinski v. Howard
On April 9, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down a law that requires drug testing of Michigan welfare recipients. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief in the case in support of the State. The Sixth Circuit issued no opinion in the case. Rather, it split 6-6 on the constitutionality of the program; the tie vote had the effect of affirming a district court decision striking down the program. WLF's brief argued that the program was a reasonable means of identifying welfare recipients in need of drug treatment. In October 2002, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit upheld the program, agreeing with WLF that the drug testing did not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. But the Sixth Circuit's decision to rehear the case en banc in front of all 12 of its judges had the effect of vacating that earlier panel decision.
Case Status:
Loss. Monitoring for possible appeal to Supreme Court.
More Information and Downloads:
11/28/2000: Download the Brief

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