Hickenlooper v. Freedom From Religion Foundation

Freedom of Expression & Religion
Case No. 12SC442, Colorado Supreme Court
ACLU Case No. 2013-15


Four Colorado taxpayers and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit in state court seeking a declaration that the Governor’s proclamation of a Day of Prayer violated the “no-preference” clause of Article II, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution, which states that “[n]or shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.”

The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs had standing and that the proclamations violated the Colorado Constitution. The Governor asked the Colorado Supreme Court to reverse.

The ACLU of Colorado, along with Americans United for Separation of Church and States and the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, filed an amicus brief. The brief urges the state supreme court to maintain a broad view of taxpayers’ standing to bring claims that government officials have violated the state constitution. The brief also urges the court to interpret the state constitution independently of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment. 


Alan Chen
Alex Luchenister , Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Heather Weaver , ACLU National Project on Religion and Belief
Justin Pidot
Mark Hughes , Two Rivers Institute
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Sara J. Rich , ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

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