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
Tattered Cover v. Brohl
In the last days of the 2013 session, the Colorado legislature passed HB 1317, a 73-page bill that sets out the framework for implementing Amendment 64, which legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for persons over 21. Buried in the text is a provision that requires the Department of Revenue to promulgate regulations “requiring that....
Criminal Justice, Freedom of Expression & Religion
On May 30, 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Masterpiece Cakeshop unlawfully discriminated against David Mullins and Charlie Craig by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.
David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, with Craig's mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception.....
LGBT Equality, Marriage Equality
ACLU v. Colorado Department of Corrections
This lawsuit was filed in 2013, as Colorado was preparing for its first execution since 1997. The ACLU invoked the Colorado open records laws seeking disclosure of Colorado’s detailed execution protocol as well as information about the state’s efforts to obtain the drug or drugs that will be used and the companies that may be supplying the drugs.....
Death Penalty, Government Transparency
Kramer v. City of Loveland
Police turning minor traffic stops into full-blown searches for marijuana have been a frequent source police-community friction. Numerous exceptions to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement have often left motorists at the mercy of police intent on carrying out a complete search of the driver and the vehicle. Because courts have held that an odor....
Criminal Justice, Privacy & Technology
Solitary Confinement of Children in Residential Treatment Center – El Pueblo
An ACLU investigation revealed that a residential treatment center for at-risk youth routinely confines children in so-called “Reflection Cottages” for days and even weeks at a time. At El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch, the “Reflection Cottages” are small concrete rooms with no furniture other than a concrete slab that serves as....
Stop Solitary, Student and Youth Rights
Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission v. City of Colorado Springs
In reaction to reports that some panhandlers in downtown Colorado Springs were intimidating and harassing pedestrians, the City enacted an ordinance that establishes a “Downtown No-Solicitation Zone” that applies in a twelve-city-block area that includes a city park and the central business and shopping district of downtown Colorado Springs.
Criminalization of Homelessness, Freedom of Expression & Religion