Now in his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District – which encompasses parts of DeKalb and Newton counties, and all of Rockdale County – Congressman Hank Johnson has distinguished himself as a substantive, effective lawmaker and a leading national progressive voice.
Named one of the most effective Democrats in Congress by a University of Virginia and University of Vanderbilt study, Rep. Johnson has proven his ability to get things done.
In 2017 at the launch of the 115th Congress, Rep. Johnson landed a coveted seat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I).
From his seat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Johnson has introduced, co-sponsored and passed legislation to level the playing field for everyday Americans. His bills that protect consumers and citizens’ civil liberties include the Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA) and the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.
As the former chair and now ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Congressman Johnson is the leading voice in the House on court reform — particularly the Supreme Court. Even before the 6-3 right-wing supermajority took control of the court, Rep. Johnson proposed legislation to expand the court (Judiciary Act), require that the justices follow a code of ethics, transparency and recusal standards (SCERT) and establish term limits (TERM Act).
Rep. Johnson’s other court reform legislation includes transparency measures for amicus briefs (AMICUS Act), modernizing the federal courts’ record systems (21st Century Courts & Open Courts Act), expanding district courtships (District Courts Judgeships Act) and requiring the courts to protect their employees from workplace harassment (Judicial Accountability Act).
As a champion for digital inclusion and an open Internet, Rep. Johnson has pushed to empower low-income and minority communities through digital rights, broadband access, and equality of opportunity online as ranking member of the subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law (RRCAL).
In 2018, Rep. Johnson was elected by his peers to lead the Judiciary Subcommittee – Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over administration of U.S. Courts, federal rules of evidence, civil and appellate procedure, judicial ethics, patent, copyright and trademark law, information technology and the Internet.
As a former member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Johnson became a leading national voice for the demilitarization of local law enforcement agencies in 2014 after police donned camouflage tactical gear and climbed aboard heavily armored vehicles to confront peaceful protestors in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death of an unarmed teenager. To help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, he filed the Police Accountability Act and the Grand Jury Reform Act in the wake of police shooting deaths of unarmed black men across the country.
In 2010, Rep. Johnson was a member of the prosecution team in the impeachment trial of New Orleans U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr., resulting in the first impeachment and conviction of a federal judge in more than two decades. In 2016, Rep. Johnson earned an honorary doctorate from his beloved alma mater Clark Atlanta University.
Prior to taking his seat in Congress in 2006, Rep. Johnson practiced criminal defense law in Georgia for twenty-seven (27) years. He served twelve (12) years as a magistrate judge, and five (5) years as a county commissioner.
Rep. Johnson is married to DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and has two adult children.