Attorney David Di Pietro appeared on NewsMax TV to discuss a case involving a lawsuit alleging NJ candidate James Tostone’s refusal to use the “So Help Me God” pledge during the process of his swearing in for candidacy.
David is a former Broward County prosecutor and experienced trial litigation attorney. His current legal practice areas include litigation law as well as electoral law and legalities surrounding political campaigns.
James Tosone, a 70-year-old New Jersey man who identifies as a nontheist and intends to run for Congress as a Libertarian in 2024, has filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the requirement that candidates affirm “so help me God” in nominating petitions. Tosone, who is from Bergen County, contends that as a nontheist, he cannot sign the required oath, which he argues is a violation of his freedom of conscience and the Constitution. His legal action, filed in federal court against Secretary of State Tahesha Way, seeks an injunction to prevent the state from enforcing this religious oath on candidates.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit advocating for the separation of church and state, supports Tosone’s stance, labeling the requirement as discriminatory and outdated. Tosone claims that this oath requirement is barring him from entering the congressional race. The state’s Division of Elections informed Tosone that the oath is mandated by state law, which led to the current legal challenge. The lawsuit suggests that Way has the power to change the
petition form to allow nonbelievers to run for office without compromising their beliefs. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has declined to comment on the ongoing legal matter.