I also submitted a Colorado Open Records request to Legislative Legal Services asking for any and all documents related to the Constitutional basis for the bill.
I attended the Federal Court’s Pro Se Clinic in Denver as scheduled to learn how best to challenge Colorado HB19-1110 regarding media literacy curriculum for secondary education based on multiple Constitutional and US Code violations. I and others challenged the Constitutionality of the bill as it made its way through the Colorado House and Senate but were ignored.
When I contacted Legislative Legal Services, I was told that they don’t have to tell the Citizens the Constitutional basis of bills. Balderdash. Next step, the Federal Court’s Pro Se Clinic.
Created only in 2018, the Pro Se Clinic is a volunteer service provided through the Colorado Bar Association and Federal District Court. After reading the bill, my testimony, and supporting documents, the Pro Se Clinic volunteer attorney “strongly” suggested that I go straight to the ACLU as this is first and foremost a First Amendment issue. She used the phrase “Censorship by Proxy” several times when I referred to the 13-member “Committee,” which includes members of “print” (must be Colorado Press Association member) and “broadcast” media, no other qualifications, certifications, background checks, etc necessary. Furthermore, teachers and students are to be rewarded for “appropriate” online behavior as set forth by the “Committee.”
She suggested that I focus solely on the First Amendment issue in my letter to the ACLU despite the other violations in the bill because “the First Amendment issue should be enough for the ACLU.”
I did as she suggested and wrote a letter to the ACLU of Colorado on May 22 detailing the bill’s violations with particular emphasis on the First Amendment “Censorship by Proxy.”
Concerned about the risk of getting lost in the ACLU’s deluge of requests, I asked if she thought I have a chance of being heard there. She felt that my case and questions are valid, but to go forward on my own will be complicated and expensive; that when it comes to First Amendment issues the ACLU will be a more efficient route than trying to do it on my own. I did not like hearing that of course because I don’t understand why as a Citizen I can’t get a straight answer as to the Constitutionality of a State law. If we can’t question the very Constitutionality of laws being passed on us, that means our lawmakers can make any law they want, take away any rights they want, any time they want.
She was really nice and said if I don’t hear back from the ACLU in the next few weeks, the bill also appears to challenge Colorado’s own Constitution and to consider that avenue as well.
I’m enjoying this quest and find it all quite fascinating! And I will keep going until I get that answer! Or I’ll sure try anyway!