John Kennedy (R-La.) is an ultra-conservative, lifelong resident of Louisiana who has served in the U.S. Senate as the junior senator from the state since 2017. He is one of eight Republican senators to vote against certifying President Biden’s election on Jan. 6, 2021.
Kennedy earned an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, a law degree from the University of Virginia, and a graduate degree from Magdalen College, Oxford. Prior to becoming a senator, he served as the Louisiana State Treasurer from 2000–17. He switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in August 2007.
After the 2020 presidential election, Kennedy adhered to the GOP playbook by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the outcome. He objected to certifying the Electoral College win by President Biden and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob and establishing a special commission to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
Kennedy ran for reelection in 2022 with Trump’s endorsement, and won. He has an A rating from the NRA and serves on the judiciary, budget, appropriations, banking, and small business committees.
January 6, 2021
- On Jan. 2, 2021, Kennedy issued a joint announcement with 10 other Republican senators saying that they would not certify the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6. Instead, they called on Congress to “immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in disputed states.”
- Even after the violent attack on the Capitol temporarily halted the certification process, Kennedy voted not to certify the results in Arizona. He justified doing so and yielding to pressure from House Republicans by saying that because the state only has 11 electoral votes, it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the election anyway. Still, the move made him part of the Lincoln Project’s list of “The Seditious Six,” referring to the senators whose votes signaled support for the mob that attacked the Capitol.
- Kennedy voted against impeaching Trump for his role in inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol and disrupted congressional certification of the presidential election. Throwing fuel on the country’s growing divisiveness, he called the trial “a thinly veiled effort by the uber-elites in our country, who look down on most Americans, to denigrate further those people who chose to vote for President Trump.”
- Kennedy, like all but a handful of Republican senators, voted against establishing a commission to investigate the violent attack on the Capitol.
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