Mike Johnson
Us rep mike johnson official photo.jpg
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
LeaderKevin McCarthy
Preceded byMark Walker
Chair of the Republican Study Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byMark Walker
Succeeded byJim Banks
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byJohn Fleming
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 8th district
In office
February 22, 2015 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byJeff R. Thompson
Succeeded byRaymond Crews
Personal details
Born
James Michael Johnson

(1972-01-30) January 30, 1972 (age 50)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseKelly Lary
Children4
EducationLouisiana State University (BS, JD)
WebsiteHouse website

James Michael Johnson (born January 30, 1972) is an American attorney, politician, and former talk radio host serving as the U.S. representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district. First elected in 2016, he is the vice chair of the House Republican Conference. He previously chaired the House Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in Congress, and a coalition of socially and fiscally conservative members of the larger House Republican Conference.[1]

From 2015 to 2017, Johnson served as a representative in the Louisiana House of Representatives for the 8th district in Bossier Parish.

Early life and education

Johnson was born in Shreveport,[2] the oldest of four children of Jeanne Johnson and James Patrick Johnson, a firefighter who founded the nonprofit organization the Percy R. Johnson Burn Foundation, named after his partner Percy R. Johnson, the city's first African-American fire instructor and captain, who died in the line of duty.[3] Johnson was also critically burned and disabled in the line of duty during the fire. Johnson has two brothers, Chris and Josh, and a sister, Laura.[4]

In high school, Johnson was a member of Louisiana Boys State. He graduated from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport. He received an undergraduate degree in business administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He holds a Juris Doctor from Louisiana State University Law Center,[5] and worked as constitutional attorney in Benton, Louisiana.

Legal career

Before his election to Congress, Johnson was a partner in the Kitchens Law Firm and a senior attorney and national media spokesman for the Alliance Defense Fund, now known as Alliance Defending Freedom.[6]

Johnson was also formerly chief counsel of the nonprofit law firm Freedom Guard.[7]

Johnson served as a trustee of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission within the Southern Baptist Convention from 2004 to 2012.

Louisiana House of Representatives

Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act

In April 2015, Johnson proposed the Marriage and Conscience Act, a bill similar in content to Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed a few days earlier, though Johnson denied that his legislation was based on the Indiana law.[8]

Johnson's Marriage and Conscience Act would have eliminated Louisiana's ability to withhold a "state license, certification, accreditation, employment, state contracts, state benefits, or tax deductions" from a person or entity based on their views on the institution of marriage.[9] Critics denounced the bill as an attempt to protect people who discriminate against same-sex married couples.[10]

Then-Governor Bobby Jindal pledged to sign Johnson's bill into law if it passed both houses of the legislature.[11] IBM and other employers in the region expressed their opposition to the bill, including concerns about the hiring difficulties it would likely produce.[12] Other politicians also objected, including Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado, who described Johnson as a "despicable bigot of the highest order" for proposing the bill.[12]

On May 19, 2015, the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted 10–2 to table the bill, effectively ending its chances to become law.[13] Both Republicans and Democrats voted against the bill; other than Johnson, only Republican Ray Garofalo voted for it.[13] After the bill was tabled, Jindal said that he would issue an executive order to enforce its intent.[14] Johnson planned to reintroduce his own bill in 2016.[citation needed]

Other

[15]

In 2015 and 2016 Johnson led an anti-abortion "Life March" in Shreveport-Bossier City.[16]

Johnson opposed the Common Core State Standards Initiative.[17]

U.S House of Representatives

Elections

2016

On February 10, 2016, Johnson announced his candidacy for the 4th congressional district seat held for eight years by John Fleming, who was running for the United States Senate seat vacated by David Vitter.[18][19][20][21]

2018

In 2018, Johnson won his second term in the U.S. House with 139,307 votes (64%). Democrat Ryan Trundle trailed with 72,923 (34%).[22]

2020

In 2020, Johnson won his third term in the House with 185,265 votes (60%) to Democratic nominee Kenny Houston's 78,157 (25%).[23]

Tenure

Johnson was sworn into office on January 3, 2017. He is Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference, an Assistant Whip for House Republicans, a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and a member and former Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.[24]

Johnson voted for the American Health Care Act of 2017.[25]

In December 2017, Johnson voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.[26] After voting for the act, he called the economy "stunted" and a "burden" on Americans, adding, "The importance of this moment cannot be overstated. With the first comprehensive tax reform in 31 years, we will dramatically strengthen the U.S. economy and restore economic mobility and opportunity for hardworking individuals and families all across this country."[27]

On May 19, 2021, Johnson and all other seven Republican House leaders in the 117th Congress voted against establishing a national commission to investigate the January 6, 2021 storming of the United States Capitol. Thirty-five Republican House members and all 217 Democrats present voted to establish such a commission.[28][29]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Johnson receiving the True Blue award from FRC President Tony Perkins in 2018
Johnson receiving the True Blue award from FRC President Tony Perkins in 2018

Immigration

Johnson supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to prohibit immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, saying: "This is not an effort to ban any religion, but rather an effort to adequately protect our homeland. We live in a dangerous world, and this important measure will help us balance freedom and security."[32]

Abortion

Johnson opposes abortion and supports legislation to prohibit abortions after week 20 of a pregnancy.[33]

Cannabis

Johnson believes medical marijuana is a "gateway drug" to other drugs.[34]

Donald Trump

In 2019, Johnson said, "President Trump cooperated fully with the [Special Counsel Mueller] investigation."[35]

Johnson served as a member of Trump's legal defense team during both the 2019 and 2020 Senate impeachment trials, which resulted in acquittals.[36]

In December 2020, Johnson was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[37] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[38][39][40]

LGBT rights

Johnson opposed the results of Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the US. He believes the decision should be state by state, not made by the Supreme Court.[41]

Government-sponsored school prayer

In April 2018, Johnson joined Republican state Attorney General Jeff Landry and Christian actor Kirk Cameron to argue under the First Amendment for student-led prayer and religious expression in public schools. Johnson and Landry appeared, with Cameron who spoke on a promotional video, at prayer rallies at the First Baptist Church of Minden and Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City. The gatherings were organized by area pastors, including Brad Jurkovich of First Baptist Bossier, in response to a lawsuit filed in February against the Bossier Parish School Board and the superintendent, Scott Smith. Smith and the board were accused of permitting teachers to incorporate various aspects of Christianity in their class presentations.[42]

Personal life

Johnson is married to the former Kelly Lary. She is a Licensed Pastoral Counselor, a lecturer on family-related issues, and a former school teacher. They have four children. Johnson formerly resided in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and in Allen, Collin County, Texas.[43]

References

  1. ^ Hilburn, Greg (November 16, 2018). "Mike Johnson wins post on GOP launching pad". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "J. Michael Johnson - Lawyer in Bossier City, Louisiana (LA) Bossier County - legaldirectories.com". legaldirectories.com.
  3. ^ "About Percy R. Johnson".
  4. ^ "James Patrick Johnson". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "About Mike". mikejohnsonlouisiana.com. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Cook, Nancy (January 10, 2015). "Conservative Republican walks into Louisiana Legislature's District 8 seat unopposed". KTAL-TV (NBC): arklatexhomepage.com. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Burris, Alexandria (January 16, 2015). "Looming session leaves little wiggle room for Johnson". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Lau, Maya (April 1, 2015). "Bossier legislator mulls religious freedom bill". The Shreveport Times in The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Rep. Mike Johnson Calls His Marriage and Conscience Act A Call For "Freedom and Tolerance"". KEEL (AM). Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  10. ^ Epps, Garrett. "What Will Bobby Jindal's 'Marriage and Conscience Order' Actually Do?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  11. ^ "Bobby Jindal gives his take on gay marriage in New York Times editorial". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Louisiana religious freedom bill author a 'despicable bigot,' Baton Rouge council member says". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  13. ^ a b Lane, Emily (May 19, 2015). "Louisiana's religious freedom bill effectively defeated in committee". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  14. ^ Lane, Emily (May 19, 2015). "Bobby Jindal plans to issue an executive order enforcing intent of religious freedom bill". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  15. ^ "State House of Representatives Vote to Increase Sales Tax". KEEL. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  16. ^ Hilburn, Greg (January 6, 2016). "4th District field inches toward gate". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "Mike Johnson Grabs LABI's NORTHPAC Endorsement". thehayride.com. 18 December 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  18. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  19. ^ "State Rep. Johnson to run for 4th Congressional seat". KALB-TV. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  20. ^ Hilburn, Greg (February 22, 2016). "Shreveport attorney enters 4th District race". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  22. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  23. ^ "Mike Johnson (Louisiana)".
  24. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  25. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 256".
  26. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Johnson on tax reform: 'Republicans have fulfilled our promise' - Bossier Press-Tribune". bossierpress.com. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  28. ^ Roll Call 154 Bill Number: H. R. 3233 117th Congress, 1st Session, United States House of Representatives, May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  29. ^ How Republicans voted on a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Washington Post, May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  30. ^ Desiderio, Andrew (2018-11-28). "Meet the Double Agent Who Now Controls House Conservatives". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  31. ^ "Membership". Republican Study Committee. 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  32. ^ Blake, Aaron (29 January 2017). "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  33. ^ "La. Representatives give their take on abortion". KALB. Associated Press. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  34. ^ "Medical marijuana bill gets approval from the House". Louisiana Radio Network. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  35. ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 24, 2019). "Louisiana U.S. Reps. Cedric Richmond, Mike Johnson question special counsel Robert Mueller". NOLA. Retrieved Dec 19, 2019.
  36. ^ Second impeachment trial of Donald Trump
  37. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  38. ^ Liptak, Adam (2020-12-11). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  39. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. 2020-12-11. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  40. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  41. ^ Dickerson, Seth. "Mike Johnson: Wants to 'make government work again'". shreveporttimes.com. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  42. ^ Wooten, Nick (April 6, 2018). "Actor Kirk Cameron makes promo video for Bossier, Webster prayer rallies". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  43. ^ "James M. Johnson in Benton, Louisiana". intelius.com. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
Louisiana House of Representatives Preceded byJeff R. Thompson Member of the Louisiana House of Representativesfrom the 8th district 2015–2017 Succeeded byRaymond Crews U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJohn C. Fleming Member of the U.S. Representativefor Louisiana's 4th congressional district 2017–present Incumbent Party political offices Preceded byMark Walker Chair of the Republican Study Committee 2019–2021 Succeeded byJim Banks Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference 2021–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byPramila Jayapal United States representatives by seniority 263rd Succeeded byRo Khanna