Niose is the former president of the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC, Jan. 2, 2014) — Long-time secular activist David Niose today joins the American Humanist Association as the legal director of the association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC). An attorney and author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, his background also includes nine years as a member of the American Humanist Association Board of Directors (2005-2013), four years as president (2009-2012), and one year as president of the Secular Coalition for America (2013).
“David Niose’s legal expertise, combined with a long history of fighting for the rights of nontheist Americans, make him an essential addition to our legal team, which also includes AHLC attorney Monica Miller and a network of dozens of pro-bono attorneys,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “His work to protect secularism in the courts is vital for believers and nonbelievers alike.”
Niose is already the lead attorney on a case being handled by the Appignani Humanist Legal Center before the Massachusetts State Supreme Judicial Court challenging a state law requiring daily school-sponsored, teacher -led recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, on grounds that the exercise, through the Pledge’s “under God” wording, discriminates against atheists-humanists. Niose developed the legal strategy being used in the case, one that protects religious minorities via equal protection rights rather than the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
“The Appignani Humanist Legal Center’s growth shows the continuing need to defend and protect the rights of nontheist Americans,” said Niose. “I am looking forward to the challenges of being a full-time legal advocate for the secular movement.”
Niose has been a civil litigator in private practice in the Boston, MA, area since 1990. He graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 1990 following his graduation from Boston University in 1984.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.