The Advance Colorado Team is committed to engaging in high-impact, public-interest litigation that has a direct and tangible impact on the people of Colorado. Our goal is to ensure that Colorado is a beacon of prosperity and opportunity for all Coloradans.
We are staunch defenders of the First Amendment and will challenge any government actions that restrict our God-given right to truthful and unrestricted speech.
Advance Colorado v. Polis: Stop Government Compelled Speech
This federal lawsuit seeks to strike down HB 21-1321, which forces state-mandated language in the ballot title for citizen-initiated ballot measures that cut taxes. Regardless of the facts, every measure must say that it “will reduce funding for state expenditures that include but are not limited to education, health care policy and financing, and higher education.” The requirement to include this language on citizen-initiated ballot measures represents a clear example of unconstitutional compelled speech, and even worse, it requires compelled false speech. The language must be used even when there is no guarantee that a reduction in tax rates “will reduce funding” for any particular state program. It is required by Colorado, even when the statement is provably and mathematically false. With Initiatives #21 and #22, Advance Colorado has experienced this firsthand, when the state-mandated language was required to be part of the titles in these initiatives. This lawsuit seeks to ensure the First Amendment is followed in Colorado.
Lopez v. Griswold
Colorado has the lowest contribution limits in the country for legislative candidates, and the second-lowest for statewide candidates. These extremely low limits act as an incumbent-protection mechanism and make it extremely difficult for challengers to run competitive campaigns. And the state makes it even more difficult for challengers by punishing them if they refuse to limit their campaign speech. This system violates candidates and their contributors’ First Amendment rights to free speech and association.
Salazar v. Public Trust Institute
When a citizen truthfully complains to enforcement authorities about a pattern of behavior by a former government official that appears to indicate he may be breaking the law, the First Amendment and Colorado law protect that citizen from a retaliatory lawsuit by that public figure. Yet, former Colorado legislator Joe Salazar has been able to drag citizen activist Suzanne Staiert and her organization, the Public Trust Institute, through the courts for more than a year after she filed a truthful complaint about his allegedly unethical behavior. Advance Colorado is helping Staiert and PTI say “enough is enough.”
Colorado Union of Taxpayers, Inc. v. Griswold
Colorado is violating the right to free speech by unconstitutionally applying vague and shifting standards to regulate groups that only incidentally discuss ballot initiatives.