Ohio Republicans and Conservatives seem to be constantly emphasizing their love of the Constitution. Take, for example, Republican Ohio Senator Tim Shaffer. He seems like a nice enough guy with a respectfully boring twitter feed.
Shaffer loves the Constitution and says that he is committed to protecting individual rights. Or at least the part of the Constitution that deals with guns. Schaffer told the Buckeyes Firearms Association that he is committed to defending the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms: “pro-gun voters mean the world to me, they are resolute, dependable, they say what they mean, mean what they say and are dedicated to preserving constitutional rights.” The Organization described him as a “die hard defender of the 2nd Amendment.”
Shaffer signed on as a co-sponsor to SB 36, a bill that sought to prohibit the enforcement of federal gun laws in Ohio.
Now Shaffer is back with his plan to make Ohio welfare recipients submit to drug tests.
Programs like this have been found to be unconstitutional in other states. Short version: they violate the Fourth Amendment Protections against unreasonable searches. Read our previous coverage here and here.
Shaffer’s solution to the Constitutional problem has the benefit of at least being creative and optimistic: applicants will be tested only if they indicate on a questionnaire that they have used drugs in the past six months.
We are certain a lot of people will voluntarily admit that they have used drugs on a government form. But wait . . . they don’t have to, because the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives people the right to not incriminate themselves.
The “Shaffer Doctrine” of Constitutional Law seems to be simple: ignore every Amendment after the Second!
Shaffer’s unconstitutional bill is just the latest Republican proposal that violates the constitution. The abortion restrictions and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood are unconstitutional. Then there was the effort to disenfranchise College Students, something David Pepper called “blatantly unconstitutional.” Last year, Republicans proposed an unconstitutional state immigration bill. And nobody even tries to pretend that the so-called “heartbeat bill” is constitutional under existing Supreme Court precedent.
What do we have to do to remind these guys that they took an oath to uphold the Constitution?