Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • 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.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • 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.


Court Orders Temporary Halt to Medicaid Cutoffs in ACLU Suit on Behalf of Legal Immigrants


Apr 1, 2003

Granting an emergency motion filed by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU), a federal court judge issued an order late this afternoon that temporarily stops the State of Colorado from cutting Medicaid medical assistance benefits to approximately 3500 legal immigrants in Colorado who cannot afford to pay for their own medical care.


The cutoffs are required by Senate Bill 03 -176, which Governor Owens signed into law on March 5 as a budget-cutting measure. The new law ends medical assistance to certain categories of legal immigrants but continues benefits for citizens who are in the same financial situation. The ACLU filed suit last week to stop the cutoffs, arguing that forcing legal immigrants to bear the burden of the budget cutbacks violates their constitutional right to the equal protection of the laws.


Today's order, issued by United States District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn, temporarily bars the State from implementing SB 03-176. The order will remain in effect at least until April 11, the date set by the Court for a hearing on the ACLU's request for a preliminary injunction.

"Judge Blackburn's ruling is a welcome victory for thousands of legal immigrants who faced an immediate loss of vital medical care if SB 03 -176 went into effect on April 1 as planned," said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. "At the upcoming hearing on April 11, we will argue that Judge Blackburn should renew his order and preserve our clients' medical assistance while this lawsuit is pending."

Court's order granting temporary restraining order, April 1, 2003

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