Born In: Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Josh Hawley is an American politician and lawyer who is serving as the junior United States senator from Missouri since 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party and previously served as the 42nd attorney general of Missouri from 2017 to 2019. He initiated several high-profile lawsuits and investigations during his tenure, including a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, an investigation into Missouri governor Eric Greitens, a lawsuit and investigation into companies associated with the opioid epidemic, as well as investigations into Big Tech companies. He proposed a bill to make it illegal for American companies to store user data or encryption keys in China, and also introduced proposals to ban loot boxes in gaming and argued to restrict social network features "deemed addictive". He received bipartisan criticism after becoming the first senator to announce plans to object to the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 United States presidential election. He also repeatedly made false claims about election frauds and rallied pro-Trump supporters that eventually led to the 2021 US Capitol attack.
Also Known As: Joshua David Hawley
Spouse/Ex-: Erin Morrow (m. 2010)
father: Ronald Hawley
mother: Virginia Hawley
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: Arkansas
education: Yale Law School (2006), Stanford University (2002), Rockhurst High School (1998), Yale University
Joshua “Josh” David Hawley was born on December 31, 1979 in Springdale, Arkansas, United States, to banker Ronald Hawley and teacher Virginia Hawley. He was raised in Lexington, Missouri, where the family relocated to in 1981 after his father joined a division of Boatmen's Bancshares there.
He attended Lexington Middle School before going to Rockhurst High School, a private Jesuit boys' prep school in Kansas City, Missouri, from where he completed his graduation in 1998 as a valedictorian. During school years, he wrote columns for The Lexington News on topics like the American militia movement following the Oklahoma City bombing, media coverage of Los Angeles Police Department detective Mark Fuhrman, and affirmative action.
He studied history at Stanford University and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa membership in 2002. He spent 10 months as a post graduate intern at St Paul's School in London before returning to the US to attend Yale Law School, from where he received Juris Doctor degree in 2006.
Following graduation, Josh Hawley clerked for Judge Michael W. McConnell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006-07 and for Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007-08. He subsequently worked in private practice as an appellate litigator at the law firm Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) from 2008 to 2011.
Between 2011 and 2015, he worked at Washington, D.C. offices of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty before moving to Missouri. During this period, he provided legal advice in the Supreme Court cases Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2012) and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014).
Since 2011, he has also been serving as an associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School. In June 2013, he was a faculty member of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, funded by conservative Christian organization Alliance Defending Freedom, that has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Running for Attorney General of Missouri, Josh Hawley defeated Kurt Schaefer in the Republican primary with 64% of the vote before defeating democratic candidate Teresa Hensley in the general election with 58.5% vote. During his campaign, he was critical of "career politicians" for "climbing the ladder" from one position to another, but was later criticized for the same when he ran for the US senate two years later.
He took office in January 2017 and in May, after black motorist Tory Sanders died in custody at the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office, he decided not to file murder charges. His handling of the case was criticized by black lawmakers and the NAACP's Missouri chapter after his successor, Eric Schmitt, reviewed the case later.
He filed a lawsuit in state court against three major drug companies accusing them of contributing to the opioid epidemic for allegedly hiding the danger of prescription painkillers and later opened an investigation into seven opioid distributors. He subsequently opened an investigation into Google's business practices in November 2017 and issued a subpoena to Facebook following the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal in April 2018.
Despite initially declining, he eventually decided to investigate Missouri's Republican Governor Eric Greitens following reports that he had subverted the state’s open records laws by using an app that erased messages after being read. While his investigation was panned as “half-hearted” by former attorneys, he called on Greitens to resign immediately following allegations that he was blackmailing a woman he was having an affair with.
Along with 20 other Republican-led states, he filed a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional in February 2018. However, he claimed supporting protections for preexisting conditions and even wrote an op-ed article following criticism from his Senate opponent Claire McCaskill that the lawsuit would eliminate insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions.
In March 2018, he defended the 1995 sentencing of Missouri man Bobby Bostic to 241 years in prison at the age of 16 for various crimes including robbery. In August that year, he announced an investigation into potential cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clerics following protests in St. Louis after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report detailing over 1,000 such cases.
He announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Missouri's 2018 U.S. Senate election in October 2017 and won a large majority in the primary election among 11 candidates with support from prominent Republicans. He defeated incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the general election by 51%-46% votes, even though his campaign was tainted by accusations of misappropriating public funds.
After Trump refused to concede making baseless fraud claims following Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election, Hawley was the first senator to object to the Senate's certification of the Electoral College vote count. He often suggested that Trump could remain in office and repeated false assertion about Pennsylvania not following state election laws despite multiple courts rejecting such claims.
After pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building when Congress met to count the electoral votes on January 6, 2021, he was photographed saluting them with a raised fist, but later fled from the rioters. The photograph was called Hawley: The Face of Sedition by Pulitzer-winning columnist Tony Messenger, while The Kansas City Star publicly criticized Hawley as having “blood on his hands” for the “coup attempt”.
Josh Hawley first met Erin Morrow, a fellow Yale Law graduate who later became an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri, when both were clerking for Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007-08. They got married in 2010 and have three children together.
While he lived in Columbia, Missouri with his family, he rented an apartment in Missouri capital Jefferson City following complaints of not abiding by a statutory requirement after becoming attorney general. The family later sold their Columbia home and bought a house in Vienna, Virginia in 2019.
Interestingly, Josh Hawley’s voter registration has his sister's address in Ozark, Missouri. The Kansas City Star claimed in a report that it made him eligible to run again for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat.
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