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 >>
Update: Today, Judge David Archuleta rejected Boulder's request for a permanent restraining order against Seth Brigham, a vocal critic whom a workplace-violence expert deemed dangerous without having met him and sans any actual attacks or explicit threats; see our previous coverage below. Brigham is ... More >>
In this week's cover feature, "Will the Real Rick Strandlof please stand up?," Westword delves into the fascinating story of 35-year-old college student Rick Strandlof, whose past false identities ended with a second chance last month. On June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned th ... More >>
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-0 against Steve Howards, who claimed his free speech rights had been chilled by Secret Service agents when he approached then-Vice President Dick Cheney circa 2006. Hence, Howards can't sue the Secret Service. However, his attorney, David Lane, believes the ... More >>
In defending CU Boulder's decision to close Norlin Quad and ban visitors on 4/20, Chancellor Philip DiStefano claims the event is a party, not a protest -- an assertion echoed by the institution's spokesperson. But Mark Silverstein, legal director for the Colorado ACLU scoffs at this argument even a ... More >>
By 7 p.m. on Valentine's Day, all medical marijuana centers in Fort Collins must close their doors thanks to a voter-approved ban passed last November. But there may be hope for a renewed romance between the city and dispensaries, as a handful of centers have filed a last-minute lawsuit to stop the ... More >>
Update by Michael Roberts: Attorney David Lane doesn't foresee appealing a court's refusal to grant a temporary restraining order on behalf of Occupy Denver protesters, who claim their First Amendment rights have been systematically squelched. However, he has strong words for case overseer Ju ... More >>
Dick Cheney.While his fight on behalf of Occupy Denver's claims against the city may be over, attorney David Lane has another big case before him, on the biggest legal stage in the country. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the tale of Steven Howards, a Lane client who says his freed ... More >>
Update: Two of the charges incurred by supporters of Occupy Denver in recent weeks were dropped over the weekend when the city attorney's office decided against officially filing in both cases. The most notable of the two instances is that of Natalie Wyatt, who has since enlisted as a plaintiff on t ... 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 >>
Members of the Occupy Denver movement will hold a press conference at 10 p.m. in the wake of Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock's announcement that the group can no longer camp out on the grounds of the Colorado State Capitol overnight. The group issued a press release this ... More >>
John Hickenlooper.Earlier today, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman said the law-enforcement approach to Occupy Denver's tent city is evolving, and could be finalized soon. But rather than waiting to see how agencies might try to enforce Governor John Hickenlooper's apparent wish to end overni ... More >>
Charles Chaput.Denver-based Archbishop Charles Chaput better watch out next time he plays Call of Duty online. Why? A lot of gamers are gunning for him in the wake of an editorial in which he criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a California law meant to protect minors from vi ... More >>
Ward Churchill.Last November, when the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected ex-CU prof Ward Churchill's bid to get his old job back, attorney David Lane admitted that "the odds of either the Colorado Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court looking at the case are slim." But he and Churchill hav ... More >>
We've hosted a lively debate on a post about "The Romantic Cannibals," an artwork depicting Jesus receiving oral sex that Montana trucker Kathleen Folden allegedly destroyed using a crowbar. Many of the comments debate whether or not the piece, on view below, can be considered art. But for I ... More >>
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 >>
Seth Brigham under arrest.Back in February, we told you about Seth Brigham's nipple-baring appearance at a Boulder City Council meeting -- a protest of sorts against a proposed nudity ordinance that would have criminalized the display of female nipples in the city. Brigham, who remained in hi ... 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 >>
Seth Brigham being arrested.To protest an ordinance that might have criminalized women who publicly bare their nipples, Boulder's Seth Brigham stripped to his boxers at a February city council meeting -- and was promptly arrested. Four months later, David Lane, fresh from winning a $5.9 mill ... More >>
David Lane wants Ayers action fast.When the University of Wyoming rescinded an invitation for controversial professor William Ayers to speak on campus, attorney David Lane sent the school a letter threatening to sue on behalf of student Meg Lanker. If the school didn't respond by his deadlin ... 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 >>
The last bill of the legislative session has been signed, and it's all over but the shouting -- particularly in front-page stories over the governor's vetoes of union-friendly bills (and likely when the governor is on Mike Rosen's show at 9:15 a.m.). But Bill Ritter also managed to please at least ... More >>
A Supreme Court decision may challenge workers' First Amendment rights.
From the week of May 5, 2005
Fighting the Chills
From the week of January 29, 2004
Colorado is ground zero in the war of the word.
RTD pays a six-figure settlement for muzzling its own directors.
There's nothing intelligent about the way the DPD kept its spy files.
As Marilyn Manson's concert gets closer, the debate over free speech gets louder.
Sheriff's departments across Colorado choose not to remain silent about raves.
How confusion and chaos led to a reporter's arrest -- and a First Amendment court test.
When you're fighting for artists' rights, things can get ugly.
SUPPORTERS OF AMENDMENT 16 INCLUDE A TITILLATING COALITION OF PORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS AND DENVER BLUEBLOODS.
THE ARCHDIOCESE GETS AN EX-TEACHER'S SUIT THROWN OUT ON CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS.
A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S PURPLE SHOELACES LAND HER IN TROUBLE.