University of Denver law students will be able to continue their legal fight to help a Supermax prison inmate said to be the longest ever held in isolation in a U.S. prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Tommy Silverstein is an alleged former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood convicted of killing two black inmates and stabbing to death a guard in Illinois in three separate incidents in the early 1980s.

He has been in solitary confinement since 1983, for a time in a tiny, rat-infested cell and with no human contact most of the time.

Students at the law school's civil rights clinic are suing the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on the constitutional grounds of due process of law and cruel and unusual punishment.

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