William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


Ross H. Parr


1999 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal Thomas Jefferson Prize for Best Student Note


During the last decade, the United States Supreme Court has rendered four major decisions regarding the validity of suspicionless drug testing policies. Such drug testing policies have become a common way for employers and other interested parties-including the government-both to deter the use of drugs and to determine who is acting under the influence of illegal narcotics. Because government officials often randomly select individuals for drug testing, some of these individuals have charged that a governmental drug testing policy violates the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court found this argument unconvincing in three cases decided between 1989 and 1997, but in its most recent decision the Court found the argument persuasive and struck down the drug testing policy in question. This Note will explain how the Supreme Court's most recent drug testing decision fails to follow established-and unrenounced-Supreme Court precedent.