The ACLU of Colorado’s Legal Department works to protect and defend civil liberties through litigation as well as legal advocacy outside the courtroom. With only three full-time attorneys on staff, the ACLU also relies on the work of dedicated volunteer cooperating attorneys from around the state who are willing to donate their time and talent to assist our struggle for liberty.
Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.
Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.
Litigation & Legal Advocacy
Valdez v. Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
Claudia Valdez called Arapahoe County Police in July 2012, when a domestic dispute with her husband turned physical. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they arrested Valdez and took her to jail. After her husband admitted in court the next morning that he had been the aggressor, a judge ordered Valdez’s release. Rather than release Valdez,....
End Immigration Detainers
A letter was sent to Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson requesting that Denver County stop honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, which are requests by the federal government that states and municipalities hold prisoners until ICE can determine their immigration status, often past the time they would otherwise be released . The letter....
Criminal Justice, End Immigration Detainers, Immigrants’ Rights
Challenge to Grand Junction Anti-Panhandling Ordinance
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed suit in federal district court challenging the City of Grand Junction's anti-panhandling ordinance, which bans a wide swath of speech that is protected by the First Amendment.
Although Grand Junction officials have claimed that the ordinance aims only at “aggressive” panhandling, the ACLU contends....
Criminal Justice, Criminalization of Homelessness, Freedom of Expression & Religion
DISH Network Accommodation of Nursing Mothers
The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on March 12, 2014 to DISH Network documenting multiple failures to accommodate nursing mothers at the company’s corporate headquarters in Englewood, where employees are forced to pump breast milk in front of their co-workers and supervisors, without privacy screens or curtains, and at a DISH Network call center in....
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sent letters to three Front Range cities demanding a prompt halt to the illegal practice of jailing poor people for failing to pay court-ordered fines. The ACLU conducted an in-depth investigation into the municipal courts of Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and Northglenn, and found that each city routinely issues....
Criminal Justice, End Debtors' Prisons
Hot Mama Theft Mitigation Policy
Hot Mama, a national retail chain with three stores in Colorado, has a theft mitigation policy that instructs employees to identify “potential thieves” and follow them around the store until they become uncomfortable and leave. Potential thieves are defined as people who do not “look like typical Hot Mama shoppers.” The store’s....