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. 

ACLU case number

2013-15

Attorney(s)

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. Ric

Case number

12SC442, Colorado Supreme Court