Each candidate for the office of the Colorado Attorney General was invited to respond to the ACLU of Colorado Attorney General Candidate Questionnaire. Candidates were given the opportunity to respond to a series of Yes/No questions with space to comment. Below is the full questionnaire and comments section. 



Do you agree that there are racial disparities throughout the criminal process that negatively, disproportionately, and unfairly impact communities of color? 




If you are presented with strong evidence of systemic racial bias in a particular local law enforcement agency would you use your civil enforcement authority to correct the situation? 




Do you believe Colorado incarcerates far too many people for an extended period of time?




In Colorado’s current money bail system, two individuals who commit the same crime often face differing outcomes based on their socioeconomic status. Though “innocent until proven guilty,” the poor often remain incarcerated pretrial for their inability to pay. Those with more access to financial means are freed even if they are a flight risk or pose a serious danger to public safety. If elected Attorney General, will you actively support substantial reforms to Colorado’s money bail system to ensure that people are not incarcerated pretrial solely because they do not have the means to pay their bail?




California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated that his office defends bail determinations that take into account what the defendant can afford to pay¹ and whether there are alternatives to holding them in jail before trial. As Attorney General would you likewise refuse to defend bail settings undertaken without meaningful consideration of a defendant’s ability to pay and alternatives to wealth-based pretrial detention?




Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh issued an opinion for the General Assembly concluding that an individualized inquiry into defendants’ ability to pay a monetary bail amount is constitutionally required and that “setting bail in an amount not affordable to the defendant, thus effectively denying release, raises a significant risk that the Court of Appeals would find it violates due process.”² If elected Attorney General, will you commit to issuing a similar opinion examining the constitutionality of wealth-based pretrial detention within your first year in office?




Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) often asks sheriffs to hold prisoners for up to 48 hours past their release date to allow time for ICE to take the prisoners into custody. These detainer requests are not warrants signed by a judge. Several courts around the country, including one state court in Colorado, have ruled that a sheriff’s decision to honor these detainer requests violates the law. Do you agree that Colorado sheriffs exceed their authority under Colorado law by continuing to jail individuals who are eligible for release solely based on a detainer request issued by ICE?




Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh issued a memorandum advising state and local law-enforcement agencies that they face legal liability exposure if they seek to enforce federal immigration laws. The opinion also advises local law enforcement not to hold individuals past their release dates on behalf of federal authorities unless they have a judicial warrant or probable cause that the subject of the detainer has committed a crime (distinguished from a civil immigration violation).³ As Attorney General, would you commit to issuing a similar advisory opinion within your first year in office?




Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a brief arguing that Massachusetts law provides no authority for officers to hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer beyond the time that they would otherwise be released from state custody.⁴ As Attorney General, would you commit to taking a similar position with regard to Colorado law, in an amicus brief if the opportunity arose, explaining that state law does not authorize sheriffs to rely on ICE detainers as grounds to depart from their state law duty to release prisoners when they post bond, complete their sentence, or otherwise resolve their criminal case?




In 2017, about 60,000 Colorado driver’s licenses were cancelled due to unpaid traffic tickets. Do you believe that suspending driver’s licenses should be reserved for bad driving, not debt collection?




Recently in Tennessee, a federal district court ruled that the state’s practice of revoking the driver’s license of any person who failed to pay court debt for one year or more does not survive rational basis scrutiny and is unconstitutional. The court found suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid debt is powerfully counterproductive, crippling already-impoverished individuals’ ability to earn a living and care for their families. In Colorado, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is required to suspend licenses when a debt goes unpaid for 30 days. This practice affects about 60,000 people each year. Do you commit to writing an opinion opposing this practice and acknowledging as illegal within your first year in office?




Do you believe that the public, with few exceptions, has a right under Colorado open records law to obtain records reflecting internal investigations into serious allegations of misconduct related to an officer’s on-duty conduct involving a member of the public?  




Do you agree that, with few exceptions, that children held in juvenile detention centers have a right to access their own files kept by the Division of Youth Services, especially in situations where there have been allegations of institutional abuse? 




If the state legislature passed a bill prohibiting cooperation between state employees and ICE, would you defend this law against possible federal attack?




Attorneys General of multiple states have filed lawsuits against the Trump Administration to challenge unconstitutional policies including: travel bans to prevent individuals from certain countries from entering the US; executive orders that allowed businesses to deny coverage for contraceptives based on religious and moral reasons; a ban on openly transgender people in the U.S. military; and the infamous policy of family separation at the border. As Attorney General would you join similar lawsuits that challenge federal government policies that harm Coloradans?




A coalition of 19 Attorneys General filed comments opposing the Department of Health and Human Service’s Proposed Rule that sought to unlawfully expand the ability of businesses and individuals to refuse to provide necessary health care on the basis of their “religious, moral, ethical, or other beliefs.” The Attorneys General claim it violates existing federal and state laws and uses the guise of religious freedom to undermine public health. If permitted, would you join in these comments and oppose a proposed rule that places ideology above patient safety and care?





  1. Koseff, Alexei, California's Bail System Doesn't Make Us Safer, Attorney General Says, Sacramento Bee, available at

  2. Letter from Brian E. Frosh, Maryland Attorney General, to Honorable Alan M. Wilner, Chair, Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (Oct. 25, 2016).

  3. Brian E. Frosh, Md. Att’y Gen., Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law: Legal Guidance for Maryland State and Local Law Enforcement Officials (2017). 

  4. Brief for Respondent, Lunn v. Commonwealth, 78 N.E.3d 1143 (Mass. 2017) (No. SJC-12276). 

  5. See Thomas v. Haslam, 303 F. Supp. 3d 585 (M. D. Tenn. 2018).