Colorado Rights Blog


  • One year ago, thousands of Coloradans marched in a historic display of resistance. At the ACLU of Colorado we carried that spirit throughout the year, fighting on many fronts for civil liberties. We won’t stop now.

  • By canceling DACA, Trump has put 800,000 young people at risk of losing their jobs and being deported from the only country they know as home. Passing the bipartisan Dream Act would protect them. We asked four Dreamers why the Dream Act is important to them and their future.

  • James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.

  • 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.

Category Archives: Government Transparency


ACLU Files Suit for Records Illegally Denied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

8/24/16 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit today challenging a practice by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of withholding documents, without legal justification, that immigration lawyers require to advocate for clients that the agency deems to be “fugitives.” “The Freedom of Information Act lists nine and only nine possible grounds an agency may rely on to withhold documents from disclosure,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director.... | Read More


ACLU of Colorado and Coalition Partners Question Denver Sheriff’s Budget Priorities

October 21, 2015 DENVER – As Mayor Michael Hancock prepares to present his 2016 city budget, several of Denver’s leading criminal justice reform organizations submitted a joint letter to City Council questioning the$24 million increase in the Denver Sheriff Department’s budget. The coalition includes ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Latino Forum, Drug Policy Alliance, Criminal Defense Institute, Colorado Justice Reform Coalition and Colorado Defense Bar. The letter outlines several concerns: In.... | Read More


ACLU of Colorado Supports Legislative Measures to Increase Police Accountability and Transparency

March 18, 2015 DENVER – A bipartisan package of ten bills was introduced yesterday in the Colorado legislature to increase transparency and accountability in police practices and to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local communities that they serve. The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado issued the following statement: “The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applauds members of the Colorado legislature for coming together in a broad, bipartisan fashion to.... | Read More


ACLU Seeks Records Related to Castle Rock Police Shooting

November 20, 2013 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed suit this morning seeking Castle Rock Police Department records related to the conduct of an on-duty police officer who put innocent civilians in danger last February when he fired multiple shots from a semi-automatic rifle at the vehicle of an unarmed fleeing burglary suspect. The suit was brought on behalf of Michael and Susan Cardella, who were sitting inside their parked car when it was hit by one of the officer’s stray bullets. According.... | Read More


Prison Officials Must Disclose CO Lethal Injection Protocol

August 2, 2013 Judge rules execution details needed to further public conversation about the death penalty DENVER –Disclosure of Colorado’s current execution protocol will further the public interest and facilitate public conversation about the state’s use of the death penalty, according to a ruling issued yesterday by Denver District Court Judge R. Michael Mullins. The court ruled that the Colorado Department of Corrections’ denial of an ACLU of Colorado request for access.... | Read More


ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Disclosure of Execution Drugs & Procedures

May 21, 2013 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed suit this morning seeking to identify the exact drugs and procedures that are planned for the execution of death row prisoner Nathan Dunlap, as well as the pharmacies that may provide lethal injection drugs to the state. The suit follows the Colorado Department of Corrections’ (CDOC) denial of an ACLU request for disclosure of communications between the agency and compounding pharmacies and a “restricted distribution” document.... | Read More


Douglas Co. School District lifts order prohibiting journalist from attending school board meetings

August 15, 2012 Under pressure from the ACLU of Colorado, the Douglas County School District (“DCSD”) late Tuesday afternoon lifted its order prohibiting journalist and videographer Brian Malone from attending school board meetings. The order was lifted in response to an ACLU demand letter sent late Monday afternoon by ACLU cooperating counsel Steve Zansberg and Chris Beall, of the Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz law firm. In the letter, ACLU lawyers demanded that DCSD immediately withdraw.... | Read More


ACLU Announces Settlement of Recently Filed Lawsuit; Denver Agrees to Disclose Jail Policies and Procedures Manual

June 18, 2008 The ACLU of Colorado announced today that it has settled a lawsuit against Denver that sought the policy and procedure manual that governs the processing and treatment of detainees at Denver’s downtown city jail, known as the Pre-Arraignment Detention Facility, or PADF. As part of the settlement, Denver agreed to disclose all portions of the manual designated by the ACLU, and to pay $5,000 of the ACLU of Colorado’s attorney fees and costs. The PADF is Denver’s intake.... | Read More


Are you qualified to be a Colorado license plate censor?

In these tough economic times, with so many Coloradans looking for work, who doesn’t dream of landing a cushy government job? One such position could be working as a censor for the Motor Vehicle Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue. The job description: determine whether proposed vanity plates should be approved or rejected. The only criteria for your decisions: whether the proposed combination of letters and numbers “carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.” Sounds.... | Read More


FBI conducts surveillance of Denver bookstore and records license plate numbers of vehicles

As part of a “domestic terrorism” investigation, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted surveillance of a Denver bookstore on February 15, 2003, and monitored 40 persons who gathered there to carpool to an antiwar demonstration in Colorado Springs later that day, according to an FBI report the ACLU of Colorado released today. The document, the latest the ACLU obtained in response to a series of requests under the Freedom of Information Act, indicates that the FBI also recorded.... | Read More

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