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Colorado’s new informed-consent bill celebrated as tool to fight racial profiling

DENVER-- On Monday lawmakers and civil rights activists celebrated Governor Bill Ritter signing into law the so-called informed consent bill, which requires police to tell people they have a right to refuse to be searched during interaction with authorities. Although the bill drew rare bipartisan support in the fractious legislature this session, supporters were concerned that Ritter, a long-time tough District Attorney loath to dilute law enforcement power, might veto the bill. He didn't, which was cause for celebration.

Bill strengthening rights against searches draws unanimous Senate support

DENVER-- A rare case of agreement has broken out at the Capitol. Lawmakers on the right and left agree that better rules should be put in place to guard against police searches and seizures. A bill that would require law enforcement (pdf) to inform individuals of their right to refuse searches of themselves and their cars passed the Senate unanimously, thirty-five votes to zero. The ACLU has launched an action campaign championing the bill and asking Gov. Bill Ritter, a former district attorney and strong law enforcement advocate, to sign it straightaway.