Senior Attorney and Co-Program Director, Power and Democracy
Denise Lieberman is a Senior Attorney in the organization’s Voter Protection Program, Denise works to identify and remove systemic barriers to voting. A seasoned constitutional and civil rights lawyer, Lieberman works on the ground in Missouri in addition to advancing broad voter protection initiatives nationwide, engaging in policy analysis, lobbying, legal advocacy, litigation and community building to advance electoral reform, including spearheading a nationwide advocacy effort to combat repressive voting legislation this past year. She has emerged as a nationwide expert on voter identification laws, preparing testimony for a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on new voting laws. She is the author of a seminal report on voter identification laws: “What’s Wrong With This Picture? New Photo ID Proposals Part of a National Push to Turn Back the Clock on Voting Rights,” which the New York Times wrote accurately characterized the trend as the largest rollback to voting rights in a century, and she is currently involved as counsel of record in litigation challenging photo ID laws in Missouri, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and helped co-author a comment letter to the Justice Department urging it to reject preclearance of Texas photo ID law.
Denise has testified frequently before legislative bodies in Missouri and other states and works closely with election officials and community groups to advance administrative and legal reforms in election administration. Since 2002, she has coordinated hundreds of volunteers working as poll monitors and attorneys for the nonpartisan Election Protection legal command center in Missouri to respond immediately to voter issues on Election Day. For this work, Lieberman has received the Martin Luther King Human Rights award from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the Hershel Walker Peace & Justice Award from the People’s Weekly World, the American Jewish Congress Democracy in Action Award and the 2009 Spirit of Martin Luther King Community Award.
Denise has been on the forefront of election reform in Missouri since 2000, when she helped bring suit to keep the polls open after hundreds of St. Louis voters were wrongly turned away from the polls on Election Day. Her subsequent class action lawsuit on behalf of the city’s African American voters spurred a Justice Department consent decree.
Before joining Advancement Project in 2006, Denise spent nearly a decade as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, where she litigated dozens of constitutional and civil liberties cases in state and federal courts. She previously served as Chair of the Individual Rights Committee for the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Denise currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches courses on constitutional law, civil rights and voting rights.
Lieberman is admitted in Missouri.