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Josh Hawley

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Josh Hawley
Josh Hawley, official portrait, 116th congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Missouri
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Serving with Roy Blunt
Preceded byClaire McCaskill
42nd Attorney General of Missouri
In office
January 9, 2017 – January 3, 2019
GovernorEric Greitens
Mike Parson
Preceded byChris Koster
Succeeded byEric Schmitt
Personal details
Born
Joshua David Hawley

(1979-12-31) December 31, 1979 (age 41)
Springdale, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Erin Morrow
(m. 2010)
Children3
EducationStanford University (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Signature
WebsiteSenate website

Joshua David Hawley (born December 31, 1979) is an American attorney and politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Missouri since 2019. A member of the Republican Party, Hawley served as the 42nd attorney general of Missouri from 2017 to 2019, before defeating two-term Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill in the 2018 election.

Born in Springdale, Arkansas, to a banker and a teacher, Hawley graduated from Stanford University in 2002 and Yale Law School in 2006. He was a law clerk to Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell and Chief Justice John Roberts and then worked as a lawyer, first in private practice, from 2008 to 2011, and then for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, from 2011 to 2015. Before becoming Missouri Attorney General, he was also a teacher at St Paul's School in London, an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, and a faculty member of the conservative Blackstone Legal Fellowship.

As Missouri attorney general, Hawley initiated several high-profile lawsuits and investigations, including a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, an investigation into Missouri governor Eric Greitens, and a lawsuit and investigation into companies associated with the opioid epidemic. In the Senate, Hawley became widely known for his criticism of Big Tech, as well as for his criticism of the Chinese government and his support for an independent Hong Kong.

In January 2021, Hawley was the first senator to object to the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election; he was criticized for feeding into the baseless conspiracy theory, propagated by President Donald Trump, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump. On the day when the electoral votes were tallied and Hawley filed his objections, a mob motivated by the belief that the 2020 election was stolen stormed the United States Capitol. Because Hawley helped popularize and legitimize the conspiracy theory that motivated the mob, figures from across the political spectrum alleged that he bore moral responsibility for the storming of the Capitol and the five deaths it caused, and argued that he should resign his office or be expelled from the Senate.[1][2][3]

Early life and education

Hawley was born in Springdale, Arkansas, but soon moved to Lexington, Missouri in 1981 after his father, Ronald Hawley, a banker, joined a division of Boatmen's Bancshares in the city.[4] Hawley's mother, Virginia, was a teacher.[5][6][7]

Hawley attended secondary school at Rockhurst High School, a private boys' prep school in Kansas City, Missouri, from which he graduated in 1998. He then studied history at Stanford University, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa membership.[8] Hawley studied under Stanford professor David M. Kennedy, who later contributed the foreword to a book Hawley wrote on Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness.[9]

After spending a year in London as a teacher at St Paul's School from 2002 to 2003,[5] Hawley returned to the United States to attend Yale Law School, graduating in 2006 with a Juris Doctor degree.[7][9] While at Yale, Hawley was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and served as president of the school's Federalist Society chapter.[9]

Early career

Hawley spent two years as a law clerk after law school, clerking first for Judge Michael W. McConnell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2006 to 2007, then for Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court from 2007 to 2008.[5] While at the Supreme Court, Hawley met his future wife, Erin Morrow, a fellow Yale Law graduate who was also clerking for Roberts.[9][10][11]

After his clerkships, Hawley worked in private practice as an appellate litigator at the law firm Hogan & Hartson from 2008 to 2011.[5] From 2011 to 2015, he worked for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty at its Washington, D.C., offices before moving to Missouri.[12] At Becket, he wrote briefs and gave legal advice in the Supreme Court cases Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, decided in 2012, and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, decided in 2014.[13][14] In 2011, Hawley returned to Missouri and became an associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School, where he taught constitutional law, constitutional theory, legislation, and torts.[5][15]

In June 2013, Hawley served as a faculty member of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which is funded by Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian organization that has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[16] Conservative columnist and professor Mike Adams said the reason for this designation "was simply that the ADF opposes efforts of the LGBT community to impose its agenda on those who disagree with them for religious reasons."[17]

Attorney General of Missouri (2017–2019)

2016 election

In 2016, Hawley ran for Attorney General of Missouri. Of the $9.2 million raised for the campaign, $4.4 million was bankrolled by David Humphreys, CEO of Tamko Building Products.[18] On August 2, he defeated Kurt Schaefer in the Republican primary with 64% of the vote.[19] He defeated Democrat Teresa Hensley in the general election on November 8 with 58.5% of the vote to Hensley's 41.5%.[19]

Affordable Care Act

In February 2018, Hawley joined 20 other Republican-led states in a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as unconstitutional.[20] The lawsuit would have eliminated insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions.[21] In September 2018, amid criticism from Hawley's U.S. Senate opponent Claire McCaskill about the lawsuit's impact on preexisting conditions, Hawley's office said that he supported protections for individuals with preexisting conditions.[21] Hawley later published an op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader explaining that he supported protecting those with preexisting conditions by creating a taxpayer subsidy to reimburse insurance companies for covering these high-cost patients.[22] In December 2018, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled the entirety of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, but on appeal, the Fifth Circuit did not agree that the entire law should be voided.[23][24][25]

Catholic clergy investigation

In August 2018, after reports of over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clerics were detailed in a report released by a grand jury in Pennsylvania, as well as protests by survivors of clergy sexual abuse in St. Louis, Hawley announced that he would begin an investigation into potential cases of abuse in Missouri.[26] Missouri was one of several states to launch such investigations in the wake of the Pennsylvania report; the attorneys general in Illinois, Nebraska, and New Mexico began similar inquiries.[27] Hawley promised that he would investigate any crimes, publish a report for the public, and refer potential cases to local law enforcement officials. Robert James Carlson, the archbishop of St. Louis, pledged cooperation with the inquiry.[26][28]

The investigation, which was inherited by Hawley's successor, Eric Schmitt, charged 12 former priests with sexual abuse of minors in September 2019.[29]

Greitens scandals

In December 2017, Missouri's Republican Governor Eric Greitens and senior members of his staff were accused by Democrats and government transparency advocates of subverting Missouri's open records laws after The Kansas City Star reported that they used Confide, a messaging app that erases texts after they have been read, on their personal phones.[30] Hawley initially declined to prosecute, citing a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that the attorney general cannot simultaneously represent a state officer and take legal action against that officer. But on December 20, 2017, he announced his office would investigate, saying that his clients are "first and foremost the citizens of the state".[31][32][33] Hawley said text messages between government employees, whether made on private or government-issued phones, should be treated the same as emails: a determination must be made as to whether the text is a record, and if so, whether it is subject to disclosure.[31] Hawley's investigation found that no laws had been broken.[34] In March 2018, six attorneys formerly employed by the State of Missouri under Democrats released a letter describing the investigation as "half-hearted"; Hawley's spokesperson called the letter a partisan attack.[34]

When allegations emerged in January 2018 that Greitens had blackmailed a woman with whom he was having an affair, Hawley's office said it did not have jurisdiction to look into the matter, and Kimberly Gardner, the circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis opened an investigation into the allegations.[35][36] In April, after a special investigative committee of the Missouri House of Representatives released a report on the allegations, Hawley called on Greitens to resign immediately.[37] The next week, Gardner filed a second felony charge against Greitens, alleging that his campaign had taken donor and email lists from a veterans' charity Greitens founded in 2007 and used the information to raise funds for his 2016 campaign for governor.[38]

Hawley announced an investigation based on the new felony charges.[39][40] On April 30, he announced that his office had launched an investigation into possible violations of the state's Sunshine laws following allegations that a state employee had managed a social media account on Greitens's behalf.[41] The same month, Greitens asked a judge to issue a restraining order blocking Hawley from investigating him.[42]

On May 29, 2018, Greitens announced that he would resign effective June 1, 2018; Hawley issued a statement approving of the decision.[43]

Investigations into tech companies

In November 2017, Hawley opened an investigation into whether Google's business practices violated state consumer protection and anti-trust laws. The investigation was focused on what data Google collects from users of its services, how it uses content providers' content, and whether its search engine results are biased.[44][45]

In April 2018, after the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Hawley announced that his office had issued a subpoena to Facebook related to how the company shares its users' data. The investigation sought to find whether Facebook properly handles its users' sensitive data or collects more data than it publicly admits.[46]

Opioid manufacturer lawsuit and investigation

Hawley in 2018

In June 2017, Hawley announced that Missouri had filed suit in state court against three major drug companies, Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, for hiding the danger of prescription painkillers and contributing to the opioid epidemic. The state alleged that the companies violated Missouri consumer protection and Medicaid laws.[47][48] The damages sought were among the largest in state history, on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.[47]

In August 2017, Hawley announced that he had opened an investigation into seven opioid distributors (Allergan, Depomed, Insys, Mallinckrodt, Mylan, Pfizer, and Teva Pharmaceuticals).[49] In October 2017, Hawley expanded his investigation into three additional pharmaceutical companies (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation), the three largest U.S. opioid distributors.[50]

Rape kit audit

On October 29, 2017, the Columbia Missourian published an exposé describing a huge backlog of untested rape kits in Missouri and the long-ignored efforts of rape survivors and law enforcement agencies to have the state address the backlog.[51] On November 29, Hawley announced a statewide audit of the number of untested rape kits.[52] The results were made public in May 2018; there were 5,000 such kits.[52] In August 2018, One Nation, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit connected to Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, ran commercials giving Hawley credit for identifying the problem.[51] In September 2020, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that of the 16 rape kit tests that were consequently uploaded to the national DNA database, 11 revealed the names of known criminals, and were referred for possible prosecution.[53]

U.S. Senate (2019–present)

2018 campaign

Hawley on election night after securing the Republican primary win

In August 2017, Hawley formed an exploratory campaign committee for the U.S. Senate.[54][55] In October 2017, he declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Missouri's 2018 U.S. Senate election for the seat held by Democrat Claire McCaskill.[56][57] Before the official announcement, four former Republican U.S. Senators from Missouri (John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and McCaskill's predecessor, Jim Talent) asked Hawley to run for the Senate seat.[58]

The tightly contested Republican primary had 11 candidates hoping to unseat McCaskill. Hawley received substantial support from prominent Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump, and the Senate Conservatives Fund.[59] He won a large majority of the vote in the primary election.

Trump endorsed Hawley in November 2017.[60] During the general election campaign, Obamacare was a key issue, with both candidates pledging to ensure protections for preexisting conditions.[61][62][63] McCaskill criticized Hawley's participation in a lawsuit that could end insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions by overturning the Affordable Care Act.[21] Hawley made McCaskill's upcoming vote on the confirmation of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State a campaign issue.[64] His campaign spokesperson asked, "Will Senator McCaskill ignore her liberal donors and support Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, or will she stick with Chuck Schumer and continue to obstruct the president?", adding, "It is deeply troubling how focused Senator McCaskill is on doing what’s politically convenient instead of doing what’s right."[64]

Hawley met criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for initiating his Senate campaign less than a year after being sworn in as attorney general. The New York Times reported his attorney general campaign had featured messages of disdain for "ladder-climbing politicians." Hawley dismissed this, saying that the Senate was not on his mind during the attorney general campaign.[9]

In the November 2018 general election, Hawley defeated McCaskill, 51% to 46%.[65]

On December 6, 2018, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft launched an inquiry into whether Hawley misappropriated public funds for his Senate campaign. Hawley's office denied any wrongdoing.[66] On February 28, 2019, Ashcroft closed the investigation because there was insufficient evidence that "an offense has been committed."[67]

Tenure

Hawley in 2019

Hawley was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on January 3, 2019.[68]

During the Hong Kong protests in October 2019, Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz visited Hong Kong and spoke in favor of the protests. Hawley called the Chinese Communist Party a "police state." Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam said Hawley's assertion was "irresponsible and unfounded."[69]

On November 18, 2019, Hawley announced the National Security and Personal Data Protection Act,[70] which would make it illegal for American companies to store user data or encryption keys in the People's Republic of China. Engadget noted the bill might cause "serious problems" for companies that are legally obligated to store data in the PRC, such as Apple and TikTok, and "might force them to leave China altogether." It was not Hawley's first technology-related bill; he had also introduced proposals to ban loot boxes in gaming and to restrict social network features "deemed addictive", among others.[71] Hawley focused on TikTok, saying the bill would cover Russia as well as China, and "any other country the State Department deems a security risk."[72] He said the bill was "targeted at social media platforms and data-intensive businesses", and "would block such mergers by default without pre-approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States."[73] The bill also prevents the collection of "more user data than is necessary to conduct business."[74]

Hawley joined President Donald Trump in his calls for an increase of the initial $600 checks provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to $2,000, which put him on the same side as "unlikely ally" Bernie Sanders.[75] Alongside Sanders and Chuck Schumer, Hawley attempted to force a vote on the increase of checks. but it was rejected.[76]

Role in the 2020 presidential election

After Joe Biden won the 2020 United States presidential election, Hawley announced his intention to object to the Senate's certification of the Electoral College count on January 6, 2021.[77] He was the first senator to do so.[78] Trump had refused to concede and made frequent baseless claims of fraud in the election. Hawley stated that his attempt to reverse the election result was on behalf of those "concerned about election integrity."[77][79] The New York Times wrote that Hawley was elevating false claims of a stolen election.[77] Hawley's maneuver prompted bipartisan condemnation of his action as undemocratic.[80][81]

On December 30, 2020, after Hawley tweeted he would join the effort to object to Biden's victory, Walmart's official Twitter account responded, "Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser."[82] Hawley responded, accusing Walmart of using "slave labor" and "driv[ing] mom and pop stores out of business".[82] Walmart deleted the tweet, apologizing to Hawley and saying it was "mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team."[82] The event led the hashtag #BoycottWalmart to trend on Twitter.[82]

On January 4, 2021, Hawley tweeted that his Washington, D.C., home had been vandalized and his family had been threatened by "Antifa scumbags" in an act of "leftwing violence" due to his claims of fraud.[83] He said he was in Missouri at the time.[83] ShutDownDC, the group that staged the event, said it was a peaceful candlelight vigil and claimed they did not vandalize Hawley's house or knock on the door.[83] A video of the event shared by the group showed that some protesters wrote on the sidewalk in chalk, chanted through a megaphone, and left a copy of the United States Constitution at Hawley's door.[83] Vienna, Virginia police said the protesters were peaceful with "no issues, no arrests" necessary; police spokesman Juan Vazquez said the police "didn't think it was that big of a deal."[84]

Storming of the United States Capitol

On January 6, 2021, when Congress met to count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election, they were interrupted by pro-Trump rioters who stormed the United States Capitol building, forcing members of Congress to evacuate. The events led to five deaths. Before the counting of the votes, to which Hawley had publicly announced he would object, he saluted the protestors and rioters with a fist pump as he walked outside the Capitol.[85][86] That day, the editorial board of The Kansas City Star published an editorial arguing, "Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt".[87][88][89] "No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway", the board wrote.[87] The next day, it published an editorial calling for Hawley to resign or be removed from office.[90]

Political scientists Henry Farrell and Elizabeth N. Saunders called Hawley's ploy a "cynical theatrical gesture" with Hawley "pursuing short-term political gain at the risk of long-term chaos."[91] Referring to Hawley's role in fomenting distrust of the electoral results, former Republican Senator John Danforth, Hawley's political mentor and a fellow Yale Law School graduate, said that supporting Hawley in his Senate bid and his prior state attorney general role was the "worst mistake I ever made in my life".[92] Danforth said Hawley was directly responsible for the riot.[93] On January 9, NBC News reported that several Republican Party insiders anonymously condemned Hawley's actions, with one strategist saying of the fist salute that Hawley "looked phony and out of place and like a doofus" in a manner reminiscent of Michael Dukakis's tank photograph.[3]

In the wake of the riot, other Republican lawmakers tried to persuade Hawley to abandon his objections to Biden's win,[94] but he voted in support of the objections to the electoral votes for Arizona and Pennsylvania, making baseless claims that election officials in Pennsylvania violated state election laws.[95] Both senators from Pennsylvania, including Republican Pat Toomey, rejected his objections, and the Senate rejected his objections by votes of 93–6 and 92–7, respectively.[96] Following these events, some Democratic lawmakers dubbed Hawley and other senators who sought to overturn the election the "Sedition Caucus."[97] Hawley has since faced bipartisan calls for his resignation,[98][87][1][99] to which he has responded that he "will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections."[100] Thousands of law school students and alumni, including at Hawley's alma mater Yale Law School, also called for Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz to be disbarred.[101] On January 9, hundreds of protesters assembled in Downtown St. Louis in front of the Old Courthouse to demand Hawley's resignation.[2][102]

Several political donors and companies associated with Hawley have cut off financial ties. David Humphreys, who with his mother and sister donated more than $6 million to Hawley's campaigns, called for him to be censured, having "revealed himself as a political opportunist willing to subvert the Constitution and the ideals of the nation he swore to uphold."[18] On January 7, Simon & Schuster canceled the publication of Hawley's book The Tyranny of Big Tech, saying the company "cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat."[103] On January 11, several companies, including Airbnb, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Dow Inc., and Mastercard, announced they would end fundraising for all Republicans who objected to Biden's victory, including Hawley; Hallmark Cards, based in Kansas City, said it had asked Hawley and Senator Roger Marshall to return all contributions.[104]

Committee assignments

For the 116th United States Congress, Hawley was named to five Senate committees.[105] They are:

Political positions

Hawley's political views have been described as nationalist[106] and populist.[107]

Abortion

Hawley opposes abortion and has called for the appointment of "constitutionalist, pro-life judges" to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts.[108] He has called Roe v. Wade "one of the most unjust decisions" in American judicial history. Missouri's Right to Life PAC endorsed Hawley for Senate.[108] In July 2020, Hawley said he would not support any Supreme Court nominee who did not explicitly say that they would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.[109]

COVID-19 relief

In April 2020, Hawley proposed that the U.S. government pay businesses to keep their workers on payroll for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and rehire any workers who had already been laid off. His proposal was similar to programs that various European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK, had implemented.[110]

In December 2020, Hawley teamed up with Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, to demand that any new stimulus deal include direct payments of at least $1,200 to American workers. As leverage, Hawley and Sanders used the upcoming Christmas recess and the deadline to pass a new continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown.[111][112]

Foreign policy

Hawley speaking with Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan in 2019

Hong Kong

In October 2019, Hawley sponsored the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Before the bill went to the House of Representatives, he visited Hong Kong to see the protests. He commented on Twitter that Beijing was trying to turn Hong Kong into a "police state". Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam called the comment "irresponsible".[113] On November 19, 2019, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the act.[114]

On July 10, 2020, Hawley sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticizing the league for allowing players to put messages on their jerseys supporting the Black Lives Matter movement but not the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests or law enforcement officers.[115] To promote the letter, Hawley's press office emailed it along with an announcement to several NBA reporters, including ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.[116] Wojnarowski responded to the email "Fuck You."[116] Hawley then tweeted a screenshot of Wojnarowski's response; Wojnarowski subsequently apologized to Hawley directly and posted an apology on Twitter.[116] On July 12, ESPN temporarily suspended Wojnarowski over the incident.[117] On September 23, 2020, Hawley once again criticized Silver for the NBA's business in China, tweeting that "Adam Silver just comes right out and says it: NBA's relationship with China involves 'trade offs' but overall is a 'net positive.' And by 'net positive,' he means billions of dollars for the NBA and by 'trade offs,' he means slave labor."[115]

Israel

During his 2018 Senate campaign, Hawley's press office sent out an email criticizing Claire McCaskill for supporting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, writing. "We should be standing with President Trump and Israel today. If you aren't, you are standing with the mullahs and John Kerry. Sen. McCaskill needs to make it clear that she stands with President Trump and Israel, and not the mullahs."[118]

Hawley opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[119]

On July 16, 2019, at the National Conservatism Conference, organized by Israeli professor Yoram Hazony, Hawley said:

For years the politics of both Left and Right have been informed by a political consensus that reflects the interests not of the American middle, but of a powerful upper class and their cosmopolitan priorities. This class lives in the United States, but they identify as "citizens of the world." They run businesses or oversee universities here, but their primary loyalty is to the global community.[120]

In his address, Hawley also denounced the "cosmopolitan agenda", the "cosmopolitan class", the "cosmopolitan consensus", the "cosmopolitan economy", and the "cosmopolitan elite".[119] His statement was called anti-Semitic by several political commentators and Jewish leaders, as well as by the Anti-Defamation League, which called for Hawley to apologize.[119][120] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency specifically compared Hawley's reference to "cosmopolitan elites" to the term "rootless cosmopolitan", an anti-Semitic smear popularized by Joseph Stalin and also used by Nazis.[120] In response, Hawley tweeted, "The liberal language police have lost their minds."[119][120] Hazony and the Republican Jewish Coalition defended Hawley's remarks.[119]

Russia

In January 2019, Hawley was one of 11 Republican senators to vote for legislation aimed at blocking Trump's intended lifting of sanctions on three Russian companies.[121]

Gun policy

Hawley received a 93% rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for 2018 and an 86% rating for 2016.[122] He does not support an assault weapons ban, but does support some gun-control measures, including strengthening background checks, banning bump stocks, and banning mentally ill people from having guns.[123] Like Matt Rosendale in Montana's 2018 Senate race and Richard Burr, Hawley used National Media as a media consultant, the same firm the NRA employs.[124]

Health care

Hawley has criticized the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). As attorney general of Missouri, he joined a lawsuit with 20 other states seeking to have it declared unconstitutional.[125][126] Hawley said the act "was never constitutional",[125] and spoke proudly of his involvement in the lawsuit.[21] Hawley's 2018 Senate campaign said that he supported protections for individuals with preexisting conditions.[21] He later published an op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader saying that he supports protecting those with preexisting conditions by creating a taxpayer subsidy to reimburse insurance companies for covering these high cost patients.[22]

Human trafficking

Hawley has said that human trafficking is the result of the American sexual revolution in the 1960s due to the social encouragement of premarital sex and the use of contraception. After being criticized for these statements, he said that Hollywood culture was a major cause of human trafficking.[127][128] Hawley has said that the appropriate place for sex is "within marriage".[129]

Immigration

Hawley supports funding the construction of a wall along the southern border to stop illegal immigration.[130]

Hawley supported the Trump administration's family separation policy. He said it was a matter of upholding law and order.[9]

Labor

In his 2018 Senate campaign, Hawley did not take a firm position on right-to-work legislation that was subject to a referendum by Missouri voters at the time.[131] His spokesperson said of right-to-work, which would hamper labor unionizing, that "nobody should be forced to pay union dues."[132]

Also in 2018, Hawley expressed opposition to a raise in the Missouri minimum wage from $7.85/hour to $8.60 in 2019 and $12 by 2023.[133]

LGBT rights

In December 2015, Hawley supported exemptions for Missouri "businesses and religious groups from participating in same-sex ... marriage ceremonies".[134]

In June 2020, after the Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, Hawley criticized the decision, saying it "represents the end of the conservative legal movement".[135][136]

Social media and Big Tech

Hawley is known for his criticism of Big Tech and social media companies and has often broken with other Republicans in his support for regulation of internet companies. He cosponsored Do Not Track legislation with Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Mark Warner.[137]

In August 2019, Hawley introduced the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act, which would ban features, such as infinite scrolling and auto-play, that he says encourage internet addiction.[138] He was expected to publish his book The Tyranny of Big Tech in 2021, but plans fell through with publisher Simon & Schuster after Hawley was tied to the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[103]

Tax returns

During his 2018 campaign, Hawley released his and his wife's tax returns and called on his opponent, Claire McCaskill, to release her and her husband's returns. McCaskill released her returns, which she files separately from her husband's. When asked if he thought Trump should release his returns, Hawley did not say.[139]

Trade and tariffs

Hawley supported Trump's imposition of trade tariffs,[9] saying he hoped the tariffs would be temporary, eventually resulting in lower tariffs on U.S. agriculture than before the trade battles.[9] In September 2018, he fully supported Trump's trade actions, saying, "It's a trade war that China started. If we're in a war, I want to be winning it."[140]

On May 5, 2020, Hawley wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling for the abolition of the World Trade Organization, arguing it did not serve American interests and "enabled the rise of China."[141][142] Shortly afterward, he introduced a resolution to withdraw the U.S. from the WTO.[143]

Donald Trump

Hawley has been characterized as a Trump loyalist.[94] He voted to acquit Trump during his Senate impeachment trial[144] and accused Democrats of having abused the Constitution by starting the impeachment inquiry, declaring that it was "the first purely partisan impeachment in our history".[144] The day after the Republican-held Senate acquitted Trump, Trump praised Hawley as having played a key role in his acquittal.[144]

U.S. Supreme Court nominations

Alex Wagner asks Hawley about the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination in a 2018 episode of The Circus (1 minute, 2 seconds)

Hawley's first commercial in the 2018 Senate campaign focused on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, which he supported.[145] After Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault, Hawley staunchly defended him and said that Democrats had staged an "ambush".[145]

Supreme Court shortlist

On September 9, 2020, Trump announced that Hawley, Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton were on his shortlist for nominations to the Supreme Court should a vacancy occur. Hawley expressed his appreciation but declined the offer, saying, "Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate".[146] After Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 17, Trump instead nominated Amy Coney Barrett on September 29.[147]

Personal life

In 2010, Hawley married Erin Morrow, an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri.[148] The couple have three children.[149] Following complaints that, after becoming attorney general, he was not abiding by a statutory requirement that the attorney general must reside within the city limits of the state capital (Jefferson City), Hawley began renting an apartment there, while his family continued to live in Columbia, Missouri.[150] The Hawleys own a house in Northern Virginia, which they bought in 2019 after Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate, after selling their Columbia home.[151] Hawley's voter registration has his sister's address in Ozark.[152]

Hawley was raised Methodist, but he and his family now attend an Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and he identifies as an Evangelical.[11][better source needed][153] Hawley wrote in a 2012 essay: "Government serves Christ’s kingdom rule; this is its purpose. And Christians' purpose in politics should be to advance the kingdom of God — to make it more real, more tangible, more present."[154]

Electoral history

2016 Missouri Attorney General election[155]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Josh Hawley 1,607,550 58.5 +17.71%
Democratic Teresa Hensley 1,140,252 41.5 -14.31%
Total votes 2,747,802 100.0 N/A
Republican gain from Democratic
2018 U.S. Senate election in Missouri[156]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Josh Hawley 1,254,927 51.4 +12.27%
Democratic Claire McCaskill (incumbent) 1,112,935 45.6 -9.24%
Independent Craig O'Dear 34,398 1.4 N/A
Libertarian Japheth Campbell 27,316 1.1 -4.95%
Green Jo Crain 12,706 0.5 N/A
Write-in 7 <0.01 N/A
Total votes 2,442,289 100.0 N/A
Republican gain from Democratic

Primary elections

2016 Republican Missouri Attorney General primary[157]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Josh Hawley 415,702 64.2
Republican Kurt Schaefer 231,657 35.8
Total votes 647,359 100.0
2018 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Missouri[158]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Josh Hawley 389,878 58.6
Republican Tony Monetti 64,834 9.7
Republican Austin Petersen 54,916 8.3
Republican Kristi Nichols 49,640 7.5
Republican Christina Smith 35,024 5.3
Republican Ken Patterson 19,579 2.9
Republican Peter Pfeifer 16,594 2.5
Republican Courtland Sykes 13,870 2.1
Republican Fred Ryman 8,781 1.3
Republican Brian Hagg 6,871 1.0
Republican Bradley Krembs 4,902 0.7
Total votes 664,889 100.0

Publications

  • Hawley, Joshua David (2008). Theodore Roosevelt, Preacher of Righteousness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300120103.
  • Hawley, Joshua (June 4, 2019). "The Age of Pelagius". Christianity Today. ISSN 0009-5753.

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External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ed Martin
Republican nominee for Attorney General of Missouri
2016
Most recent
Preceded by
Todd Akin
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Missouri
(Class 1)

2018
Legal offices
Preceded by
Chris Koster
Attorney General of Missouri
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Eric Schmitt
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Claire McCaskill
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Missouri
2019–present
Served alongside: Roy Blunt
Incumbent
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Tom Cotton
Baby of the Senate
2019–present
Succeeded by
Jon Ossoff
Designate
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Braun
United States Senators by seniority
90th
Succeeded by
Rick Scott