|42nd Attorney General of Missouri|
Assumed office |
January 9, 2017
|Preceded by||Chris Koster|
Joshua David Hawley|
December 31, 1979
Lexington, Missouri, U.S.
Stanford University (BA)|
Yale University (JD)
Joshua David Hawley (born December 31, 1979) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the 42nd and current Attorney General of Missouri. On August 8, 2018, he became the Missouri Republican Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri's 2018 U.S. Senate election, running against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Legal career
- 3 Attorney General of Missouri (2017–present)
- 4 United States Senate campaign
- 5 Political views
- 6 Electoral history
- 7 Personal life
- 8 References
- 9 Selected publications
- 10 External links
Hawley grew up in Lexington, Missouri, and graduated from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He then attended Stanford University and graduated with highest honors in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He moved to London and taught at St Paul's School, London, for a year.
After law school, Hawley was a law clerk for Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He subsequently served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of the United States for Chief Justice John Roberts. During this year, Hawley met his wife, Erin Morrow, a fellow Supreme Court clerk.
After Hawley's clerkships, in 2008 he began working as an appellate litigator at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C. He served as senior counsel to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he litigated First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, in federal circuit courts, and in state courts of last resort.
He litigated the religious liberty case at the Supreme Court level, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. In the Hosanna-Taylor case, Hawley successfully helped expand the government's understanding of religious liberty.
Attorney General of Missouri (2017–present)
In 2016, Hawley ran for Attorney General of Missouri. On August 2, he defeated Kurt Schaefer in the Republican primary with 64% of the vote. He faced Teresa Hensley in the general election on November 8. Hawley won 58.5% of the vote to Hensley's 41.5%.
Opioid manufacturer lawsuit and investigation
In June 2017, Hawley announced that the State of Missouri had filed a lawsuit in state court against three major drug companies, Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, for hiding the danger of prescription painkillers. The state alleges that the companies violated Missouri consumer protection and Medicaid laws. At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Hawley said that “we come to hold these companies accountable...They used bogus front organizations and fake research; they used fraudulent advertising and deceptive trade practices... And they repeatedly lied about the true risks of the drugs they sold.”
The lawsuit alleges that the pharmaceutical companies created shell companies to misrepresent the risks of opioids, such as producing biased[clarification needed] that overstating the benefits of opioids while underplaying their risks. The State argues that these actions have contributed to the opioid epidemic, which has particularly harmed Missouri. The opioid death rate in Missouri is 160% of the national average. The lawsuit is one of the largest in state history, seeking damages worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The pharmaceutical companies deny the allegations.
In August 2017, Hawley announced that he had opened another investigation into seven opioid distributors (Allergan, Depomed, Insys, Mallinckrodt, Mylan, Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals). According to the Attorney General's Office, the investigation began on suspicions of "deception, fraud, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practices, and/or the concealment, suppression or omission of material facts in connection with the sale or advertisement of opioids." On October 31, 2017 Hawley expanded his investigation into three additional pharmaceutical companies (AmerisouthBergen Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corporation), the three largest U.S. opioid distributors.
Privacy investigations into Google and Facebook
In November 2017, Josh Hawley opened an investigation into whether Google’s business practices violated state consumer protection and anti-trust laws. The lawsuit was the first of its kind in the United States. “No entity in the history of the world has collected as much information on individual consumers as Google,” he said at a news conference. Hawley's concern was brought by reports that Google was collecting more data about consumers than it admits, as well as whether Google manipulates its search results to hurt competitors.
The Attorney General's Office announced that it had served a second subpoena on July 25, 2018 to further investigate Google's business practices. “I’m for the free market, but I’m against monopoly and fraud,” Hawley has said. “I’m also concerned about the drift in our economy toward corporatism. We’ve got to make sure that competition is open and fair.”
In April 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal, Hawley announced that his Office had issued a subpoena to Facebook related to how the company shares their users’ data. The investigation seeks to find whether Facebook properly handles its users’ sensitive data, as well as if Facebook collects more data on its users than it publicly admits. At a press conference, Hawley summarized the motive behind his investigation: "the question is: What exactly is Facebook doing with this information, with whom are they sharing it, what are they doing to protect it from third parties who have access to this data?”
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. Hawley initially declined to prosecute, citing a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that the attorney general can't simultaneously represent a state officer and take legal action against that officer. However, on December 20, 2017, he announced his office would investigate, saying that his clients are "first and foremost the citizens of the state". Hawley said text messages between government employees, whether made on private or government-issued phones, should be treated the same as emails — there must be a determination made as to whether the text is a record, and if so, if it is subject to disclosure. "I don't think it settles the matter just because it is a private device or a personal device. That alone, I believe, would not qualify that as a non-record." "This is one of the difficulties we face with a Sunshine Law that was written decades and decades ago and has not been updated to take into account modern technology. In general, text messages should be treated like and subject to the same analysis as emails."
In April 2018, Hawley called evidence related to a sex scandal facing Greitens "shocking, substantial and corroborated" and "certainly impeachable" and called for Greitens to resign immediately. In May 2018, after it was reported that taxpayers were paying two impeachment lawyers for Greitens $660 per hour, Hawley said Greitens' office was not authorized to hire private legal counsel without his permission.
On April 23, 2018, one week after the release of a report detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Greitens, Hawley announced an investigation into the financing of Greitens' 2016 campaign. The investigation involved allegations that Greitens used a donor list of a veterans charity to solicit donations for his 2016 campaign. On April 30, Hawley 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' behalf. That same month, Greitens asked a judge to issue a restraining order blocking Hawley from investigating him.
On May 29, 2018, Greitens announced that he would resign effective June 1, 2018. Hawley responded, "Governor Greitens has done the right thing today."
Table Rock Lake duck boat accident
In July 2018, Hawley's office opened a criminal investigation into the Table Rock Lake duck boat accident. The accident, which left 17 people dead, occurred when a duck boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri.
Swimming area lawsuit
Hawley has sued the owners of the Offsets, a flooded former quarry now used as a swimming area, where nine people have died since the 1980s. Hawley said the swimming area is a "public nuisance" that "poses an unlawful risk to public safety."
Rape kit audit
In November 2017, Hawley announced a statewide audit of the number of untested sexual assault kits. Prior to the audit, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reported, "there was no clear picture on the total number of untested rape kits."
Hawley's office received "information from 266 law enforcement agencies, 66 health care providers, and five crime labs." The audit found 5,000 untested rape kits. Of the untested kits in the possession of hospitals and health clinics, almost 700 related to possible sexual assaults and rapes that had not been reported to the police. Josh Hawley told reporters that "from an individual perspective, any kit that goes untested means a survivor is denied the justice they so deserve." Hawley's office determined that the backlog was due to a lack of communication between hospitals and government agencies. Following the investigation, Hawley recommended a set of guidelines, which including creating "uniform statewide standards for the collection, retention, and submission of rape kits" that would end the confusion between hospitals and law enforcement. A measure to create an electronic tracking system for rape kits was co-authored by state representative Donna Lichtenegger (R-Jackson) and state senator Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane) and put before the General Assembly.
Catholic church investigation
On August 23, 2018, after reports of over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse were released by a grand jury in Pennsylvania, as well as protests by survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Saint Louis, Hawley announced that he would begin an investigation into potential cases of abuse in Missouri. The investigation is the first to be brought by a state after the Pennsylvania report. Hawley promised that he would investigate any crimes, publish a report for the public, and refer potential cases to law enforcement officials across Missouri. After Hawley announced the investigation, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson promised the Attorney General's Office that the Office would have “unfettered” access to archdiocese records. “Anything that we have we will turn over,” Carlson told reporters. “The protection of children from criminal abuse is one of my office’s top priorities,” Hawley wrote in a letter to Carlson. “I look forward to cooperating with you to ensure that the children of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are fully protected from any threat of abuse.” 
United States Senate campaign
In August 2017, Hawley filed notification papers that he had formed an exploratory campaign committee for the U.S. Senate. In October 2017, Hawley officially declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Missouri's 2018 U.S. Senate election for the seat held by Democrat Claire McCaskill. Hawley was endorsed by President Donald Trump in November 2017.
Hawley met criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for initiating his Senate campaign less than a year after being sworn in as Attorney General. A New York Times story noted that his Attorney General campaign had featured messages of disdain for "ladder climbing politicians." Hawley dismissed this criticism, stating that a Senate run was not on his mind during the Attorney General campaign.
Hawley has been endorsed by the Missouri Farm Bureau. The Farm bureau voted 82-4 to endorse Hawley, reflecting his support among Missouri's agricultural industry. In a December 2017 gathering of pastors in Kansas City, Hawley attributed the sexual revolution of the 1960s to a societal breakdown, saying: "We have a human trafficking crisis in our state and in this city and in our country because people are willing to purchase women, young women, and treat them like commodities. There is a market for it. Why is there? Because our culture has completely lost its way. The sexual revolution has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined." "We must ... deliver a message to our culture that the false gospel of 'anything goes' ends in this road of slavery." "It ends in the slavery and exploitation of young women."
Hawley is pro-life. He has stated that he "believe[s] in the dignity and worth of every single person" and "pledged to 'send the right-to-life movement in a stronger direction moving forward' by voting to appoint 'constitutionalist, pro-life judges' to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts, should he be elected" to the U.S. Senate. Hawley has been endorsed by Missouri's Right to Life PAC in his 2018 U.S. Senate race.
Affordable Care Act
Hawley has criticized the Affordable Care Act. As Attorney General, Hawley joined a lawsuit with 20 other states in seeking to have the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) declared unconstitutional. Hawley said the Affordable Care Act "was never constitutional."
Hawley has said that his first priority is Missouri agriculture. Hawley has been cautiously optimistic about President Trump’s trade battles, stating “I am against anything that hurts Missouri farmers, and I’ve been in talks with our agriculture community about this.”
Hawley supports NAFTA, which lowered tariffs on US agricultural exports, calling the deal “a good thing, particularly for farmers." However, he has stated that other nations have had barriers on US agricultural imports for too long, saying "we need to go after folks who are violating our trade agreements.” Hawley hopes that the tariffs will be temporary, eventually resulting in lower tariffs on US agriculture than before the trade battles. “I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on it until we see what kind of a deal he gets,” Hawley has said. “I think it is worth it if it works.”
Josh Hawley has a 93% rating from the NRA, a higher rating than most US Senators.  He does not support an assault weapons ban. He supports incremental fixes to US gun laws, like strengthening background checks, that would ensure public safety without limiting gun rights. For example, he has called upon Congress to "fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System" and believes that "mentally-ill people should not have guns, any kind of guns. Not just this weapon or that weapon, but none at all."  Hawley has also supported Trump's efforts to ban bump stocks.
Hawley has stated that human trafficking is partly the result of women's sexual revolution in the 1960s, due to the social encouragement premarital sex and the use of contraception. After receiving criticism for these statements, Hawley reiterated that Hollywood culture was a major cause of human trafficking.
U.S. Supreme Court nominations
Hawley has stated that he would vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Hawley notes that "Missouri voted for President Donald J. Trump by nearly 20 points and conservative judges are a big part of that. This is not a hard decision. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is imminently qualified." Hawley has criticized Claire McCaskill for asking Senator Chuck Schumer for permission to sit down to talk with Kavanaugh, remarking that "She had to get permission from Schumer to even sit down with Kavanaugh. Missouri Senators should not be asking party bosses to do anything, let alone sit with a Supreme Court nominee."
Hawley and his wife, Erin Morrow, a law professor, live in Ashland, Missouri. After complaints arose that he was not abiding by a residency requirement in state statute, Hawley also rented an apartment in Jefferson City. They have two sons, Elijah and Blaise.
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- "Josh Hawley's Worthy Climb | National Review". National Review. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Prof. Joshua Hawley". The Federalist Society. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Professor Erin Morrow Hawley profile, University of Missouri Law School. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
- Stack, Liam (July 13, 2018). "Republicans Had a Plan for Josh Hawley in Missouri. He's Working on It". New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Belz, Emily (August 5, 2016). "Missouri AG contender has deep religious liberty legal roots". World. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- "The Merits and Flaws of the Hobby Lobby Decision". Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. University of Missouri. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- "Josh Hawley's Worthy Climb | National Review". National Review. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- "Joshua D. Hawley". University of Missouri School of Law. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- IT, Missouri Secretary of State -. "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". enrarchives.sos.mo.gov.
- Bernhard, Blythe. "Missouri sues three drug companies for pushing painkillers". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Raymond, Nate. "Missouri sues opioid manufacturers, joining two other U.S. states". U.S. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Missouri attorney general sues 3 drug companies over state's opioid crisis". Retrieved 2018-09-02.
- Bernhard, Blythe. "Missouri sues three drug companies for pushing painkillers". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
- firstname.lastname@example.org, Janice Zhou. "Missouri attorney general's office announces investigation into opioid marketing". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Koester, Samantha. "Missouri Attorney General expands opioid investigation to three more companies". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Hawley, Missouri Attorney General Josh. "Tech Investigations". ago.mo.gov. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "Missouri Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Hawley Google Investigation". KOMU.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Adams, Jasmine. "AG Hawley serves second subpoena in Google investigation". http://www.kfvs12.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11. External link in
- "Josh Hawley's Worthy Climb | National Review". National Review. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Hawley, Missouri Attorney General Josh. "Tech Investigations". ago.mo.gov. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Suntrup, Jack. "Hawley launches investigation into Facebook as fallout over user data continues". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Hancock, Jason (December 7, 2017). "Greitens' penchant for secrecy goes digital with messaging app that leaves no trace". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Hancock, Jason (December 11, 2017). "Greitens answers question about his use of secret texting app by attacking media". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Hancock, Jason (December 20, 2017). "Missouri attorney general will investigate Gov. Greitens' use of secret texting app". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Erickson, Kurt (January 2, 2018). "New lawsuit seeks to stop Missouri governor from using secretive phone app". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Fandos, Nicholas (April 12, 2018). "In Missouri, Governor's Scandal Ensnares a Republican-Leaning Senate Race". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Suntrup, Jack (May 18, 2018). "AG Hawley says Greitens' office can't hire taxpayer-paid attorneys for impeachment". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Nilsen, Ella (April 19, 2018). "There's an all-out war between the Republican governor and Republican attorney general in Missouri". Vox. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Strauss, Daniel (April 23, 2018). "'She's a lucky duck': GOP implodes again for McCaskill". Elections. Politico. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Ruch, Amber (April 30, 2018). "AG Hawley opens inquiry into Gov. Greitens' social media accounts". KFVS. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Hancock, Jason; Vockrodt, Steve (April 18, 2018). "Gov. Greitens asks court to issue restraining order against AG Hawley". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says he will resign, Washington Post, Sean Sullivan, May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- Stafford, Margaret (July 31, 2018). "$100 million lawsuit filed in fatal sinking of duck boat on Table Rock Lake". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Associated Press. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Sloan, Nick (July 30, 2018). "Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley opens criminal probe into Table Rock Lake boat tragedy". KCTV. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Suntrup, Jack (July 31, 2018). "Missouri sues to close popular swimming spot after two more drowning deaths". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- "Josh Hawley Announces Lawsuit Against the Offsets". Ozarks First. July 30, 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Erickson, Kurt. "5,000 rape kits sit untested in Missouri, audit finds". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- “AGO PRELIMINARY REPORT ON UNTESTED RAPE KITS IN MISSOURI.” Rape Kit Audit Preliminary Report, State of Missouri, 24 May 2018, ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2018/preliminary-report2018-05-23.pdf?sfvrsn=2.
- "After Pennsylvania report on alleged church abuses, Missouri launches investigation. What will other states do?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Benchaabane, Jack Suntrup, Nassim. "Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley launches investigation into clergy sex crimes". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "After Pennsylvania report on alleged church abuses, Missouri launches investigation. What will other states do?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- Pathe, Simone (August 2, 2017). "Missouri's Josh Hawley Forms Exploratory Committee for Senate Bid". Roll Call.
- Josh Hawley Senate Exploratory Committee, Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Wise, Lindsay (October 17, 2017). "GOP's top Senate recruit in Missouri won't commit to voting for McConnell as leader". McClatchy. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Hancock, Jason; Lowry, Bryan (November 29, 2017). "Trump, in visit to Missouri, endorses Josh Hawley while promoting GOP tax plan". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "The Top 10 Senate Races of 2018". Politico. December 24, 2017.
- "Missouri Farm Bureau Endorses Republican Josh Hawley In Overwhelming Vote". KTTS. August 11, 2018.
- Josh Hawley faces criticism after blaming sex trafficking on 1960s’ sexual revolution, Kansas City Star, Bryan Lowry, January 31, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Hawley gets Missouri Right to Life endorsement in U.S. Senate race against McCaskill". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- "Hawley gets Missouri Right to Life endorsement in U.S. Senate race against McCaskill". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- Margolies, Dan. "Kansas and Missouri Join States Arguing No Tax Penalty, No Affordable Care Act". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Missouri Attorney General joins anti Affordable Care Act alliance". www.komu.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Erickson, Chuck Raasch, Kurt. "Reacting to Trump's policies is challenge for Hawley, McCaskill". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
- "Josh Hawley On His Senate Race Opponent Sentor McCaskill: "She's A World Class Phony, Which Is Why We're Going To Beat Her Come November"". FOX News Radio. 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
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- "Margie Roswell". Margie Roswell. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
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- "GOP candidate blames human trafficking on sexual liberation, saying it leads to 'slavery' of women". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
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- "Josh Hawley". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
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- "State of Missouri - Primary Election, August 02, 2016 - Official Results". Missouri Secretary of State. August 25, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- "Faculty Bio-Erin Morrow Hawley". University of Missouri Law School. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Lowry, Bryan (November 15, 2017). "Missouri AG Josh Hawley faces lawsuit over where he lives". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- "Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- Hawley, Joshua David (2008). Theodore Roosevelt, Preacher of Righteousness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300120103.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Josh Hawley|
- Campaign website
- Josh Hawley at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN.
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Attorney General of Missouri
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Missouri|
| Attorney General of Missouri