The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a lower-court decision okaying Douglas County's controversial school voucher plan, which allows parents to use taxpayer dollars to enroll their kids at religious schools. That's great news for the ACLU of Colorado, which has been battling ... More >>
Boulder is certainly used to obnoxious behavior. Whether it's drunken college kids rioting on the Hill, homeless kids with dreadlocks harassing people on the Pearl Street Mall, entitled CEOs landing in jail (or just cutting us off in traffic), or the hippie elite lecturing the rest of the world on f ... More >>
Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Colorado Supreme Court have ruled that individuals can't be jailed because they're too poor to pay fines. But the ACLU of Colorado maintains that at least three local communities, and possibly a lot more, routinely do so. The organization has written the towns as ... More >>
Earlier this year, according to the ACLU of Colorado, a Castle Rock cop fired several shots from a semi-automatic rifle -- and while he didn't hit the apparently unarmed suspect targeted, he did manage to strike the tire of a car occupied by two locals. The couple want records about the investigati ... More >>
Shortly after his arrival in the Colorado prison system, a mentally stable teenager named Sam Mandez landed in solitary confinement for a series of minor rules infractions. He soon began to experience auditory hallucinations and other signs of mental illness, and his erratic behavior made it imposs ... More >>
We've all seen cameras on traffic-light poles, and many of us have noticed police vehicles mounted with similar devices. But did you know so-called license-plate readers can be utilized to track the whereabouts of any driver, whether he or she has violated any laws? This prospect alarms the Boulder ... More >>
A new government report on the rate of sexual victimization in America's jails and prisons lists the Denver Women's Correctional Facility as having the highest rate of sexual assault and misconduct by staff of any lockup in the nation -- four times the national average, in fact. That figure is dism ... More >>
Colorado Springs is trying to clean up its downtown by banning panhandling and soliciting, but there's one problem with that plan: The ordinance would violate the First Amendment -- at least according to the American Civil Liberties Union. And in the first major ruling on that issue, a federal distr ... More >>
Last week, we reported on a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union against Colorado Springs, which is pushing forward with a controversial anti-panhandling law that critics see as violating free-speech rights. The city says it won't start enforcement for a few weeks, but will begin educatio ... More >>
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado announced today that it has reached a settlement with a Jefferson County charter school that allegedly refused to renew a teacher's contract after she complained about a lack of breastfeeding accommodations. The ACLU and the woman at the center of this ... More >>
The Boulder County ACLU has come out in firm opposition to a proposed ordinance that would require approval from the city manager to allow protesters to gather in city parks. Although the topic is still in the brainstorming stages and won't merit a decision for months, its opponents fear it could pl ... More >>
This morning, the ACLU of Colorado requested a formal investigation of the Denver Police Department's conduct with Occupy Denver during the past six and a half months. The complaint, delivered to Police Chief Robert White and the Office of the Independent Monitor, cites both First Amendment freedoms ... More >>
A broad proposal by the country's largest private prison company to buy up and privatize state prisons has been met with a stiff rebuke from the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of justice policy and religious groups, who are urging all fifty state governors to reject the company's "in ... More >>
The Boulder City Council is considering a proposal to reduce penalties for sixty minor legal violations such as littering and throwing rocks. Under ordinance 7831, first and second time offenders would no longer face jail time, though their rights to a trial by jury would be changed to a single judg ... More >>
Tuesday night, Boulder City Council reduced fines and approved no jail time for first and second convictions on sixty municipal offenses -- an effort to prevent a flood of minor cases (like Occupy Boulder camping tickets) from filling courtrooms. Some aspects of these changes please the ACLU of Bou ... More >>
Kelsey Whipple's recent post about Occupy Denver's legal team exploring legal precedents involving tents as examples of speech drew a sharp response from a member of the occupation's Legal Issues Working Group. His post focuses on both the aforementioned lawyers and the ACLU, which he feels c ... More >>
One week after the Colorado ACLU launched an investigation into the constitutionality of police action at Occupy Denver, the group has yet to receive the records it requested from the Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol. In the meantime, the ACLU is researching a secondary ... More >>
Phillip Becerra.Colorado ACLU communications director Rosemary Harris Lytle confirms her organization has launched an investigation of "an escalation of police force" at Occupy Denver -- like, for example, the shooting of Phillip Becarra, seen here, with pepper bullets. The ACLU has expressed ... More >>
The American Civil Liberties Union has jumped in on the debate simmering in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs over whether school resource officers should be allowed to collaborate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Michael Martinez."School Vouchers on Hold" read a weekend headline in the print Denver Post. But while plaintiffs, including the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, technically requested a preliminary injunction to stop the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program, Judge ... More >>
Alex Landau.As detailed in last week's feature on Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal, Denver is in the midst of a police-misconduct story that won't go away. Now, as part of its "Race to Justice" police brutality awareness campaign, the ACLU tracked down all city payouts for police-relate ... More >>
Ken Buck.In 2008, the Weld County Sheriff's Office raided Amalia's Translation and Tax Service in Greeley as part of Operations Numbers Game, an effort to bust identity thieves who were also undocumented immigrants. The ACLU filed suit over the action -- and this week, Weld District Attorney/ ... More >>
This week, the Boulder County jail is expected to formally end its policy of restricting inmate mail to postcards only -- and commissioners agreed to pay the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado $65,000 to settle a lawsuit over an issue that an ACLU spokeswoman hopes is now dead in the ... More >>
Prisoners in El Paso County got an early Christmas present yesterday, when county officials agreed to stop limiting outgoing inmate mail to just postcards. The ACLU had filed suit against that policy, which the El Paso County Jail adopted this summer, arguing that such restrictions for prison ... More >>
As reported here last summer, a controversial state study suggesting no harmful psychological effects from solitary confinement was drawing heated protests from prison activists even before it was published. Now that it's been released, psychiatric experts and the ACLU of Colorado are saying ... More >>
Large photo below.Update: Well, that didn't take long. Only hours after the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to an El Paso County school district demanding that Falcon High School student Kate Cohn be allowed to wear a T-shirt that reads "marriage is so gay," the principal who ori ... More >>
Some interesting comments on our post about the ACLU filing a complaint against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for detaining a busload of Spanish speakers heading to an Amway Convention. Here are two of the most pointed.
Today, the American Civil Liberties Union announced a formal administrative complaint against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over an April incident during which dozens of Spanish speakers aboard a Denver charter bus were detained under suspicion of human smuggling. Turns out the ri ... More >>
In April, Alan Prendergast reported about Sgt. Perry Speelman, one of the defendants in a 2004 racial profiling lawsuit the city settled for $75,000. Tonight, Denver City Council will pay another $24,000 over similar allegations.
FlickrCritics of the ACLU portray the organization as an apologist for flag burners. As such, the group loves to show it's about principles, not ideology. Case in point: Its defense of Cainan Gostnell, a Colorado Springs student whose middle school has banned wearing religious symbols like ro ... More >>
Krystal VossEven under the best of circumstances, prison is an exercise in humiliation. But life just got a little less nasty for female inmates at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, who no longer have to spread open their genitalia for invasive cavity searches after a family visit. P ... More >>
A few months ago we first reported on the "labia lift" -- an extremely invasive search process that the Colorado Department of Corrections has started using at its Denver women's prison. Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado has taken notice -- and demanded that the DOC immedia ... More >>
Gino Rael.In January, registered sex offender Gino Rael was accused of trying to recruit young girls in letters sent from Boulder County jail. Division Chief Larry Hank told Westword he thought such a situation could be prevented by restricting inmates to sending only postcards. But if this ... More >>
"Junius Puke" in "The Howling Pig."In December 2003, the Ault, Colorado home onetime UNC student Thomas Mink shared with his mom was raided by police. His crime? Satirizing a UNC professor named Junius Peake as "Junius Puke" in his self-published newsletter, The Howling Pig. Thus began a cou ... More >>
Seth Brigham being arrested in February.The February arrest of Seth Brigham, who stripped to his boxers at a Boulder city council meeting in reference to a possible nudity ban, has led to proposed rules of decorum that prohibit disrobing and more. To Judd Golden of Boulder's ACLU branch, the ... More >>
Joe Arpaio.Planning on traveling to Arizona over the upcoming holiday weekend? A fan of dry heat? The American Civil Liberties Union, joined by the Colorado branch, has issued a travel advisory due to the recent passage of SB 1070, which the organization describes as "Arizona's racial-profili ... More >>
The ACLU is challenging a Boulder ordinance that penalizes homeless people for sleeping outside under the cover of blankets -- even when the city's homeless shelter is full. That's what happened to David Madison. He was ticketed last November under the city's controversial camping ban for s ... More >>
On the eve of going to court in its effort to protect internal investigations records of police officers from public scrutiny, the City of Denver has agreed to settle a lawsuit by forking over many of the documents sought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
Ted Mink allegedly held a man for over a month without charges.The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the Jefferson County Sheriff, accusing him of illegally detaining a man for 47 days for the suspicion that he was an illegal immigrant. Sheriff Ted Mink, the ... More >>
Blake Benson rocks his Nobama duds.Conservatives like to portray the American Civil Liberties Union as a bunch of dangerous lefties with a decidedly progressive agenda rather than principles that transcend the politics of the moment. But that argument was dinged today, when the ACLU's Colora ... More >>
Signs of recent times.It's been a year since the Democratic National Convention took over this town -- and to mark that anniversary, the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken two legal actions. In the first, an ACLU lawyer is representing eight people in a suit again ... More >>
According to state senator Greg Brophy's blog, "he's been called one of the most conservative members of the legislature and a Prius driving, bicycle riding, eco freak. You decide." But first read this, and you might come up with a couple of other descriptors. On April 24, he recounted the tale of ... More >>
When we think of Boulder, we think of beautiful hiking trails, football hooligans and trust-fund hippies. After all, Boulder prides itself on being free and open, which is why the annual Halloween streak through downtown has become so popular -- popular enough that during the '08 version, police arr ... More >>
The devil horse. The one-world murals. The underground tunnels where aliens (the extraterrestrial ones) hang out. Yes, Denver International Airport has a lot of scary stuff. Starting with the name of its terminal: Jeppesen. It was supposed to honor pioneering aviation navigator Elrey Jeppesen, who ... More >>
Traveling out of DIA continues to be a frisky business.
The DPD's binge-and-purge problem continues.
Boulder throws another Barbie on the fire.
STREET PEOPLE IN THE COLLEGE TOWN ENLIST HELP IN THEIR BATTLE AGAINST THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.