Blog of Rights

Dena
Sher

Dena is legislative counsel at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. Sher joined the ACLU in 2011, after four years as the the state legislative counsel with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She worked with legislators, activists, and coalition partners on legislation, policy, and ballot initiatives that affected religious liberties, including school vouchers, healthcare refusals and religion in the workplace. She was also an Equal Justice Works fellow at Americans United. Her Equal Justice Works project investigated how programs funded under President Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative were implemented. Sher also worked on many of the cases litigated by AU during her fellowship.

Sher is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and Georgetown University.

 

White House Should Focus on the Constitution, Not the Bible

White House Should Focus on the Constitution, Not the Bible

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:41pm
Last week, it was reported that the president of the American Bible Society is meeting with Joshua DuBois, the head of the President's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, "to begin a dialogue on the importance of the Bible in the founding of the country." The American Bible Society president said, "It's impossible to separate the formation of our democratic republic from the foundation of Scripture." As we know, however, our Constitution is not based on biblical principles.
A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:31pm

In 1998, Congress created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to draw attention to violations of religious freedom in other countries. The commissioners vote annually to list countries that are of particular concern or place…

Wanted: Women on Birth Control, Not Men on Ham Sandwiches

Wanted: Women on Birth Control, Not Men on Ham Sandwiches

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:17pm

Yesterday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the new HHS rule that requires insurance plans to include birth control with no co-pay (except for those held by churches or religiously affiliated nonprofits like universities)…

Looking for Simple Answers to Basic Questions on Faith-Based Hiring

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

It’s been almost three years of silence from President Obama on the issue of whether religious organizations may discriminate when hiring for government-funded positions. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to find out where we have…

Congress: Stop Targeting American Muslims and Protect Muslim Service Members

Congress: Stop Targeting American Muslims and Protect Muslim Service Members

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:42am

Congress continues to target Muslims even though empirical studies show that violent threats cannot be identified by any religious, ideological, ethnic or racial profile.

Who’s Abusing Their Power? House Oversight Committee’s Show-Trial Takes HHS to Task for Helping Trafficking Victims

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:28pm

In the upside-down, through-the looking-glass world we often find ourselves in, in our nation’s capital, today the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing “investigating” why Catholic organizations only…

Helping Trafficking Victims Isn’t Biased

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:44pm

Earlier this week, Michael Gerson, an op-ed writer for The Washington Post, penned a particularly troubling piece, accusing the Obama administration—and the ACLU—of anti-Catholic bias, because “the conscience protections of Catholics…

Special Exceptions for Religious Organizations Threaten Liberty

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am

Last week, at a congressional hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” Rep. Jim Jordan asked a witness what the biggest threat to religious liberty is today. The response from Colby May, from the American Center…

Now Hiring (Some Exclusions May Apply)

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:29am

Right now, the White House is wholly focused on getting people back to work. That should be great news for the American people. Why is it then that the administration has a damaging policy that actually limits certain jobs to only certain people?…

Since When Is the First Amendment an Afterthought?

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:03pm
"If your focus is first and foremost serving people in need, then there's not a tremendous amount of time left to debate the finer points of the church-state relationship."

The Denver Post reported that Joshua DuBois, the head of the…

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