Tattered Cover Bookstore, Inc. v. City of Thornton

Criminal Justice | Freedom of Expression & Religion | Privacy & Technology
Case No. 01-SA-205, Colorado Supreme Court
ACLU Case No. 2001-01


Asserting the First Amendment rights of its customers, the Tattered Cover Bookstore challenged a search warrant obtained by police that sought information about all books purchased by a customer in a 30-day period. The ACLU of Colorado filed an amicus brief arguing that the state constitutional right of free expression requires special procedural protections when the government seeks information about who is reading which particular books. In a groundbreaking opinion that recognizes the dangers posed by government monitoring of citizens’ reading habits, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bookstore.


Bruce Jones
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Nicholas M. Billings
Susannah W. Pollvogt

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