James Michael Johnson is an American politician serving as the 56th speaker of the United States House of Representatives since October 25, 2023. A member of the Republican Party, he is in his fourth House term, having represented Louisiana's 4th congressional district since 2017.
Johnson is a graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Before entering politics, he worked as an attorney in private practice and for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF); at ADF, he advocated for sodomy laws and criminalizing homosexuality, writing an amicus brief that opposed the eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). He then sat on the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention between 2004 and 2012. Johnson's political career began when he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2015; he served in that body until 2017.
Johnson was first elected to represent Louisiana's 4th congressional district in 2016. He has been identified as a member of the Christian right. During his time in Congress, he contested the results of the 2020 presidential election on the House floor and in court. He supported bills that would institute a nationwide ban on abortion. Johnson served as chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in Congress, from 2019 to 2021. He was vice chair of the House Republican Conference from 2021 to 2023.
On October 25, 2023, following the ousting of Kevin McCarthy from the speakership, Johnson was elected as the 56th speaker of the House. He is the first House speaker from Louisiana and the most junior representative to be elected speaker since John G. Carlisle in 1883.