Moore's lawyers had called on the Supreme Court to "remedy this travesty of justice" and give him his job back. The high court declined, without comment.
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary found that Moore violated canons of judicial ethics when he refused the federal court's order to move the monument. Moore could try to win back a seat on the court in 2006 elections.
| || |
___Tech Policy/Security E-letter___ Written by washingtonpost.com's tech policy team, the e-mail version of this weekly feature includes an original news article and links to policy and cyber-security stories from the previous week.
Click Here for Free Sign-up
Read E-letter Archive
The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that random drug tests of firefighters without any suspicion or evidence of prior drug abuse violated their constitutional privacy rights.
The justices refused to hear an appeal from the city of Mesa, Arizona, which called the tests necessary because of "the real and substantial risk to public safety involved with potential drug use among firefighters."
Under a policy that took effect in 2001, a computer program randomly selects Mesa firefighters for required drug testing. Urine samples are tested for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and phencyclidine (PCP).
Information about a firefighter's drug testing record is not released outside the department without the individual's consent. Firefighters who test positive are removed from their positions and are evaluated by a substance abuse professional.
The department may discipline or dismiss any firefighter who tests positive a second time or who refuses to submit to a required test.
Firefighter Craig Petersen challenged the drug tests for violating his rights. A trial judge agreed and barred the city from carrying out the random tests. But a state appeals court upheld the tests as reasonable.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled the tests were unreasonable and violated the constitutional privacy rights protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.
Mesa City Attorney Deborah Spinner appealed. She said the ruling imposed a new constitutional standard for random drug tests of "safety-sensitive employees" that conflicted with past rulings by the Supreme Court and U.S. appeals courts around the nation.
In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled the government can require drug tests for Customs agents and for railroad employees who are involved in accidents or safety violations.
Spinner said random drug tests have been upheld for truck drivers, horse racing jockeys, airport maintenance workers and flight attendants to help ensure public safety.
In defending the program, she described firefighters as "front-line responders to local emergencies" and invoked the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in calling them "an integral part of this country's ability to respond to terrorism."