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.

 

Government-Funded Hiring Discrimination Is a Big Step in the Wrong Direction

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:54am
On Monday, we celebrated the 44th anniversary of an important civil rights milestone, the Supreme Court decision in the ACLU case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down state bans on interracial marriage. At an event at the Capitol, we screened The Loving Story (a terrific documentary) and hosted a panel discussion with the film's director and producer, Nancy Buirski, one of the Lovings' attorneys, Phil Hirschkop, and Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Bobby Scott (both of whom Laura Murphy—the director of ACLU's Washington Legislative Office and our moderator for the evening—rightly called our most stalwart defenders of the Constitution).
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.

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…

Obama Administration Can't Make the Case for Religious Discrimination

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 4:38pm

What a disappointing, and frankly lame, response. Last month, the ACLU, along with more than 50 organizations, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to end taxpayer-funded hiring discrimination based on religion in government contracts. President…

A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:12pm

Yesterday Peter King (R-NY), Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, brought congressional navel gazing to a new level by holding a hearing on his past hearings that have singled out and perpetuated dangerous stereotypes about the American…

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…

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…

President Obama: Restore Civil Rights Protections!

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:03pm

Seventy years ago this week, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all federal agencies to "include in all defense contracts hereafter negotiated by them a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because…

Waiting for the End of Taxpayer-Funded Hiring Discrimination

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:11pm

On July 1, 2008, on the campaign trail in Zanesville, Ohio, then-candidate Barack Obama promised to end hiring discrimination based on religion by organizations — such as the Salvation Army and World Vision — that receive government…

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