Denver law students fighting to overturn regulations at the federal Supermax prison in Colorado have found that the same rules bar them from continuing to represent convicted terrorists, reports the Denver Post. After letters from three Supermax inmates were found with terrorism suspects in Spain, federal officials issued new rules forbidding inmates from writing letters to those outside immediate family, reading the classified ads in newspapers, and attending prison religious services.
The government argues that the rules (special administrative measures, or SAMs), should forbid prison visits by University of Denver law students representing two terrorists in a lawsuit alleging that the SAMs violate their civil rights. Judge Wiley Daniel granted the students access to Nidal Ayyad and Mahmud Abouhalima over the objection of the U.S. attorney’s office. The U.S. has appealed, arguing that because the students aren’t yet lawyers, they might be more willing to pass messages from the terrorists to outside contacts. Even if caught, the reasoning goes, they would not lose their licenses to practice. University of Denver law Prof. Laura Rovner disputes that argument, saying that the students would subject themselves to prosecution if they aided terrorists in Supermax.