Blog of Rights


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.


Obama Says Employment Discrimination "A Very Difficult Issue." It's Not.

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:31am
At his July 22 town hall meeting, President Obama was asked about his 2008 declaration to reform the “faith-based initiative,” clearly stating that faith-based groups that receive taxpayer money to provide social services will no longer be able to discriminate in hiring with taxpayer dollars.

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…

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…

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…

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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