The Gunnison County Library District has joined the Crested Butte News and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition in asking the Colorado Court of Appeals to overturn a judge’s ruling that shields the identities of people who want library books banned or reclassified.
Like last year, court rulings dominate CFOIC’s 2022 list of transparency highs and lows, with perhaps the most closely watched decision coming nearly three weeks after a shooter killed five people and wounded more than a dozen others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs on Nov. 19.
The Colorado Supreme Court declined to review issues in a Court of Appeals opinion that could impact the First Amendment rights of lawyers to make statements about public-interest litigation.
In Colorado Court of Appeals briefs, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and the editor of the Crested Butte News spell out reasons why a judge erred in ruling that a Colorado statute shields the identities of people who want certain books reclassified or removed altogether from library shelves.
Lawyers clashed in the Colorado Court of Appeals over whether the state’s Children’s Code prohibits the Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS) from publicly releasing aggregate statistics about child-abuse hotline calls made from licensed residential care facilities.
The published ruling clarifies Colorado’s 2019 anti-SLAPP law, which protects news organizations and Coloradans in general from meritless lawsuits that target free expression.
The public is entitled to know which of their elected legislators favored or opposed certain measures under consideration at the Capitol, in votes that have had real-world, bill-killing consequences.
Approved by Colorado voters in November 1972, the Sunshine Law ushered in a new era of government transparency in our state, establishing stricter rules for open meetings at the Capitol and providing the basis for the more wide-ranging transparency law that now dictates how all public bodies statewide conduct business.
Over the past two decades, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and its member organizations and board members have achieved numerous successes both in amending the Colorado Open Meetings Law and in applying it in lawsuits to ensure compliance by governmental bodies.
The public release of the amended autopsy report on the 2019 death of Elijah McClain ended a legal fight that didn’t need to happen, said Steve Zansberg, president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.