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Meet Mike Johnson: 6 facts about the latest speaker nominee

By CM Chaney · October 25, 2023

In brief…

  • Mike Johnson, born in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a U.S. Congressman with a strong conservative background and values.
  • He earned a law degree from LSU and worked as an attorney specializing in constitutional law and religious freedom.
  • Johnson entered politics in 2015 as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2016.
  • He is known for his advocacy of pro-life causes, religious freedom, and conservative policies, and serves on various congressional committees.
FRC President Tony Perkins (right) presents the "True Blue" award to Congressman Mike Johnson (left).  Office of Congressman Mike Johnson / Wikimedia

The leadership battle within the U.S. House of Representatives Republicans extended into its 23rd day, with the slim majority working to coalesce behind Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana.

This conflict began when a faction of party hardliners, discontented with a bipartisan agreement that averted a government shutdown, ousted their leader and blocked three potential replacements.

The prolonged standoff has hindered the chamber’s ability to respond to international conflicts, like those in the Middle East and Ukraine, and to secure funding for federal agencies beyond November 17, exacerbating divisions and trust issues within the fractious 221-212 Republican majority.

Lawmakers plan to cast ballots for Johnson, a conservative who has billed himself as a “bridge builder,” at Noon EST on Wednesday, the week after hardliner Jim Jordan failed in three rounds of voting.

Here are six things to know about the potential Speaker of the House.

Early Life and Education

Born on January 30, 1972, in Shreveport, Louisiana, he grew up in a family with strong conservative values. Johnson completed his undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History. He later pursued his law degree at LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, graduating in 1996.

Legal Career and Advocacy

After becoming an attorney, Johnson established himself as a formidable legal figure in Louisiana. He worked at a private law firm specializing in constitutional law, religious freedom, and pro-life advocacy.

Notably, he served as senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a prominent Christian legal organization dedicated to defending religious freedom and traditional values.

Entry into Politics

In 2015, Johnson’s political journey began when he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. He quickly gained recognition for his conservative principles and commitment to protecting religious liberties and traditional family values.

During his tenure in the Louisiana House, Johnson authored significant legislation on issues like abortion restrictions and religious freedom.

Congressional Career

In 2016, Johnson took his political career to the national stage when he was elected as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 4th congressional district.

As a member of the Republican Party, he has played a vital role in shaping legislation on various fronts, including tax reform, healthcare, and constitutional issues. He is known for his staunch support of conservative policies and religious freedom.

Notable Achievements and Positions

Representative Johnson has been a vocal advocate for pro-life causes and has supported legislation to protect the sanctity of life. He has also been an influential voice on religious freedom issues, often championing the rights of individuals and organizations to express their faith without government interference.

In Congress, he has served on several committees, including the House Judiciary Committee and the House Republican Study Committee.

Relationship With Donald Trump

Johnson has had a supportive relationship with former President Donald Trump. Johnson, a staunch conservative, consistently aligned with Trump’s policies and agenda during his time in office. He was a vocal advocate for Trump’s positions on issues like tax reform, healthcare, and religious freedom.

Johnson’s unwavering support for the former president earned him recognition as a loyal Trump ally within the Republican Party.