The Supreme Court’s Troubling Decision on Funding for Church Playgrounds
By Heather L. Weaver, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief Abandoning a longstanding constitutional protection for the separation of church and state, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that a church must be allowed to participate in a state program that provides direct taxpayer grants to improve school playground surfaces. The decision was very troubling. As we argued in our friend-of-the-court brief in the case, Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, the government.... | Read More
Congratulations to our 2017 Annual Meeting Award Winners
At our 2017 Annual Meeting, we were proud to recognize the significant contributions to civil rights and civil liberties of The Coalition for Compassion and Action, Xavier Long, Kristin Fasy, Rosie Piller, and Nancy Sobel. The Coalition for Compassion and Action, a grassroots activist organization focused on protecting the rights of people who are poor and vulnerable and opposing criminalization of homelessness in Colorado Springs, was awarded the 2017 Civil Rights in Action Award. Since.... | Read More
Good policy-making (mostly) won out over partisan politics in the 2017 Legislative Session
The post-mortem on this year's legislative session has been mostly positive. Lawmakers are being applauded for their willingness to place good policy-making above partisan politics. Governor Hickenlooper referred to the 2017 session as "the most productive" since he took office in 2011. Legislators made big news for finding common ground on some of the state's most critical issues, like construction defects reform and addressing the hospital provider fee. Lawmakers also found common ground - most.... | Read More
Reflections on True Patriotism
When I began work as Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado in 2012, my sister-in-law gave me a copy of a bright red bound pamphlet titled, “The True Patriot,” by Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, both sons of immigrants, both proud to be American. I have kept it on my desk ever since as a reminder of my charge. It is an honor to work here, since few organizations exemplify true patriotism more fully than the American Civil Liberties Union, defending the Constitution of the United States for.... | Read More
The People’s Oath: Your Own Oath of Office
As Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office as President, the American Civil Liberties Union invites you to take your own oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Whatever challenges we may face to principles of due process, privacy, equal protection and freedom from cruelty, the ACLU will stand firm. The ACLU is ready to defend First Amendment rights of press, protest, speech, and religious freedom for all people. We will not ignore threats to the rights of immigrants, women, people.... | Read More
Opportunities for Continued Success at the Colorado Legislature
This upcoming legislative session will have many familiar themes. In fact, the make-up at the Capitol looks very similar to the 2016 session, where each of our six top priority bills enjoyed bipartisan support on their way to being passed into law. Related: Make Colorado a Civil Liberties Safe Zone This year, we’ll continue working with legislators on restoring trust between police and communities. One planned piece of legislation will direct officers to provide the reason they stop an individual.... | Read More
Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.
In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.
Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”
Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.
- Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.