Louie Gohmert

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Louie Gohmert
Louie Gohmert Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded byMax Sandlin
Personal details
BornLouis Buller Gohmert, Jr.
(1953-08-18) August 18, 1953 (age 60)
Pittsburg, Texas
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kathy Gohmert
ResidenceTyler, Texas
Alma materTexas A&M University (BA)
Baylor Law School (JD)
OccupationAttorney, Judge
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1978–1982
RankUS military captain's rank.gif Captain[1]
UnitJudge Advocate General's Corps
AwardsMeritorious Service Medal[1]
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Louie Gohmert
Louie Gohmert Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded byMax Sandlin
Personal details
BornLouis Buller Gohmert, Jr.
(1953-08-18) August 18, 1953 (age 60)
Pittsburg, Texas
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kathy Gohmert
ResidenceTyler, Texas
Alma materTexas A&M University (BA)
Baylor Law School (JD)
OccupationAttorney, Judge
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1978–1982
RankUS military captain's rank.gif Captain[1]
UnitJudge Advocate General's Corps
AwardsMeritorious Service Medal[1]

Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. (born August 18, 1953) is an American politician and current Republican U.S. Representative from Texas's First Congressional District.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Gohmert was born in Pittsburg, Texas, the son of Erma Sue (née Brooks) and Louis Buller Gohmert. He is of part German ancestry.[2][3] Gohmert was raised in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1971.[4] He was then accepted into Texas A&M University, receiving his B.A. in history in 1975.[5] Gohmert received an army scholarship while at Texas A&M, where he was a brigade commander of the Corps of Cadets and class president.[6]

He later received his Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas in 1977 where he also served as class president.[7] Gohmert served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1978 to 1982.[8] The majority of his U.S. Army legal service was as a defense attorney.

Gohmert was elected as a state district judge for Texas's 7th Judicial District, serving Smith County (Tyler, Texas) from 1992 to 2002; being reelected to a total of three terms.[8] Gohmert first saw national recognition for a 1996 probation requirement where he ordered an H.I.V. positive man, who was convicted on motor vehicle theft charges, to seek the written consent from all future sexual partners on a court provided form notifying them of H.I.V. status;[9] angering AIDS and Gay rights activists, as well as civil libertarians.[10] Gohmert was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to fill a vacancy as Chief Justice on Texas's 12th Court of Appeals, where he served a six month term from 2002 to 2003.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


A mid-decade redistricting made the 1st District significantly more Republican than its predecessor, notably by moving Gohmert's home in Tyler from the 4th to the 1st. In the Republican primary, Gohmert defeated State Representative Wayne Christian of Center, who thereafter returned to the state legislature but was unseated in the 2012 Republican primary. Gohmert defeated Democratic incumbent 1st District Congressman Max Sandlin with 61 percent of the vote to Sandlin's 39 percent, becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to represent northeast Texas.

Proving just how Republican this district was, Gohmert has been elected four times with virtually no opposition. In 2006, Gohmert won his second term by defeating Democrat Roger L. Owen, a swimming pool builder from Hallsville. He faced no major party opposition in 2008 or 2010.

On November 6, 2012, Gohmert was elected to his fifth term with 182,621 votes (71.7 percent) to the Democrat Shirley J. McKellar's 67,758 (26.6 percent). The Libertarian Clark Patterson polled the remaining 1.6 percent of the ballots.[11]


From Jan 2005 to Oct 2013, Gohmert missed 551 of 6,900 roll call votes, which is 8.0%. This is more than most members of congress; the median number of such votes missed is 2.3%.[12]

L-R: House Chaplain David Coughlin presents pastor David Dykes a certificate in honor of his September 10, 2008 Invocation of the US House, while Rep. Louie Gohmert and Speaker Nancy Pelosi stand by.

In 2007 Gohmert said, "I would submit to you that Washington, D.C. is also the only city in the entire country that every Senator and every Member of Congress has a vested interest in seeing that it works properly, that water works, sewer works, and no other city in America has that."[13] When residents began calling Gohmert's office complaining about issues like trash and parking, he told them to speak to local government officials instead.[14] Washington, D.C. has been described as a modern example of virtual representation, even though it has no voting representatives in Congress.

On July 29, 2009, he signed on as a co-sponsor of the defeated H.R. 1503. This bill would have amended "the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of president to include with the committee's statement of organization a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the office of president under the Constitution".[15]

Gohmert stated in a House Judiciary Hearing on May 15, 2013, that he believed the FBI did not act with due diligence concerning alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His contention was that the FBI was more interested in Christian groups such as those led by Billy and Franklin Graham than in groups that might be considered less politically correct to target. Attorney General Eric Holder responded to his claims: "The only observation I was going to make is that you state as a matter of fact what the FBI did and did not do. Unless somebody has done something inappropriate, you don't have access to the FBI files," said Holder. "I know what the FBI did. You cannot know what I know. That's all." Gohmert objected to this on the grounds that Holder had "challenge[d]" his character. After several attempts to inject his viewpoint as a point of personal privilege Gohmert stated: "The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus".[16]

On January 3, 2013, Gohmert broke ranks with the House leadership to nominate outspoken Florida Representative Allen West for Speaker of the House, even though West lost his bid for re-election in November 2012 and was no longer a member of Congress.[17]

Although he has previously ruled out the possibility of a bid for the U.S. Senate, he has recently been boosted by at least one "tea party" group (Grassroots America We the People) as a primary challenger to current Republican Senator John Cornyn.[18]

Fiscal policy[edit]

Gohmert has signed the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[19] Gohmert offered an alternative plan to kick-start the economy with his tax holiday bill that would allow taxpayers to be exempt for two months from having federal income tax taken out of their paychecks.[20] Gohmert was one of a number of Republicans who voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011 on grounds it did not do enough to deal with the government's growing debt.[21] Gohmert was one of four Republicans who voted against, joining 161 Democrats to oppose a balanced budget Constitutional amendment in November, 2011.[22]

Gohmert does not believe in man made climate change, and has asserted that data supporting the theory is fraudulent. Gohmert has opposed cap-and-trade legislation, such as the one that was passed in the US House when it was Democratic controlled. Gohmert supports expanding drilling, and exploration and drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).[23]

In a 2012 meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee, Gohmert stated his strong support of a trans-Alaskan pipeline, as a means for caribou to have more sex.[24][25][26] According to Gohmert, "When [the caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. So [his] real concern now [is] ... if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?” Gohmert's comments were not favorably received by the rest of the committee; reportedly, Alaskan representative Don Young was forced to stifle his laughter in response.[27][28]

Gohmert has made statements and voted for legislation that support the use of school vouchers.[29]

Social policy[edit]

Gohmert has a pro-life voting record. He has stated that he believes that life begins at conception. Gohmert sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act. Gohmert voted for the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill that prohibits the transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of an abortion without the consent of the minor's parents. He has 100% pro-life voting record rating from the NRLC.[30][31]

At a congressional hearing on May 23, 2013, on an abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Gohmert told the story of another couple he knew that decided to go through with their pregnancy despite learning of fetal anomalies. He told Zink, a woman witness, that she should have gone through with her pregnancy despite some doctor's opinion that the brain function was impaired, and then have a better assessment of the baby's health once it was born. Gohmert explained: "Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both, I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart?" Gohmert said. "So these are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted. But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions."[32]

On 16 December 2012, two days after the murder of over twenty people at an elementary school, Gohmert appeared on Fox News Sunday and suggested that the tragedy would have never happened had the teachers been armed. He told host Chris Wallace, "I wish to God that she [principal Dawn Hochsprung] had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids." He also claimed that the 20 victims who had been killed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle had "defensive wounds."[33]

Gohmert Introduces The “Parental Notification and Intervention Act”[edit]

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement regarding ‘The Parental Notification and Intervention Act’ which requires that parents be notified at least four days in advance of any abortion to be performed on their minor daughter that involves crossing state lines or any federal funds and gives parents the power to intervene and stop an abortion from being performed:

“Every life is precious – and that includes the life of an unborn child. One of the principle tasks of the government is to protect the lives of those who are unable to protect themselves. Nearly 70% of Americans agree parents should have the legal right to stop an abortion from being performed on their minor daughter.

No adolescent should be alone in making such a life altering decision. Today, a child cannot consent to have ears pierced or to take an aspirin without parental consent, except for a devastating abortion. It is imperative that a caring parent, with the child’s best interest at heart should be a major part of this decision-making process. Sadly, without a federal law in place, even in states with parental notification laws, parental guidance is taken out of the equation.

It is my commitment to continue pushing for legislation that promises to protect our most vulnerable, our unborn children. The implementation of this bill will ultimately save lives and give control back to the very parents who must approve their children taking aspirin.”

Congressman Louie Gohmert is the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas and also served as Chief Justice of Texas'12th Court of Appeals.[34]

Congressman Gohmert Refuses to Take Subsidy Others Don’t Get[edit]

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today after the House passed a bill that funded Obamacare:

“On January 1st, when millions of Americans will likely lose their employers’ contribution to their health insurance, I will refuse to receive that same subsidy. It also means I will have to pay a substantial penalty or ”tax,” but I cannot in good conscience accept the subsidy when so many Americans have lost their insurance altogether because of ObamaCare. We are supposed to be the servants of the American people, not the masters.

“House Republicans have voted for and sent the Senate two different bills, because we have been offering compromises, even to the extent of compromising with ourselves because Senate Democrats and the President have refused to negotiate at all. They have made clear that they will negotiate with Russians and Iranians, but will not negotiate with Americans.

“In the Continuing Resolution on which we voted Monday night, all funding is restored to the government takeover of Americans’ healthcare, referred to as ObamaCare, including funding of abortion. I could not vote for the resolution, though I am in agreement with the language ending government subsidies to Congress while Americans suffer without them.

“The President has given waivers or exemptions to hundreds and hundreds of his cronies, many businesses and some unions. I could not in good faith vote for a bill that provides even more funding for Obamacare when I have heard from massive numbers of constituents about the damage it is doing.

“I will continue to listen to the people of my district, but the hue and cry is overwhelmingly from those who have lost insurance, had insurance costs become prohibitive, lost jobs, or have been moved from full-time employment to part-time because of Obamacare.”[35]

"Terror baby" national security vulnerability[edit]

On August 12, 2010, Gohmert appeared on Anderson Cooper 360° to defend recent comments he made on the floor of the House regarding "terror babies". In a speech about national security made on the House floor in June 2010,[36] Gohmert stated that a retired FBI agent had told him that one of the things the FBI had been looking at were terrorist cells overseas sending young women to become pregnant so they would deliver the baby in the United States, and then take the baby with them back to be raised as a trained terrorist. When adult, this operative—a U.S. citizen by birth—could be easily infiltrated in the U.S. to carry out terrorist actions.[37] On Fox Business News, Gohmert had later claimed that an airline passenger with a relative in Hamas had a grandchild who was to be intentionally born in the United States.[38] In the interview, Gohmert asserted that pregnant women from the Middle East are traveling to the US on tourist visas, planning to deliver the child there.[39] According to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this automatically grants citizenship to the child. He said that the child would then be returned to the mother's home country and be submitted to a life of terrorist training. Rep. Gohmert said he could not reveal the identity of the retired FBI agent who provided him the information, but he pointed out to a The Washington Post article,[40] which described "birth tourism" packages, mainly directed at Chinese tourists. Basically, anyone who manages to enter the Unites States can give birth in the U.S. specially with the overwhelming statistics of people who overstay their visas. These "birth tourism" packages, Gohmert pointed out, take advantage of a "gaping hole in the security of our country."[41]

Aurora shootings position[edit]

On July 20, 2012, Gohmert appeared on The Heritage Foundation's Istook Live! radio show the day of the July 20, 2012 Aurora, Colorado shootings, which left 12 people dead, and 59 injured. Gohmert stated: "We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country … and when … you know … what really gets me as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs and then a senseless, crazy act of terror like this takes place. You know, when people say, where was God in all of this? Well, you know, we don’t let … in fact we’ve threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God’s name that they’re going to be jailed, we had a principal of a school, and a superintendent or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off-campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff … where is God? Where, where? What have we done with God? We told him that we don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present." Gohmert commented: "You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place. Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important," he said. "Whether it's John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people ... Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters ... We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country." Gohmert also said, it makes him wonder that "with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?" [42]

Letter To Director Of National Intelligence[edit]

On June 13, 2012, Gohmert was one of five members of Congress (including Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Tom Rooney, Lynn Westmoreland) to send letters to the Inspectors General[43] of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State outlining their "serious national security concerns," and asking for "answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group’s access to top Obama administration officials." In the letter, Gohmert and the other U.S. lawmakers sent, they write about information they claim "raises serious questions about Department of State policies and activities that appear to be a result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood."[44]

One of the letters in particular to Ambassador Harold W. Geisel, the Deputy Inspector General of the United States Department of State, mentioned the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, as an example of the undue influence. The letter said that Abedin, who had access to sensitive national security and policy information, "has three family members–her late father, her mother and her brother–connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations," as backed up by a study by the Center for Security Policy.[45][46][47]

The national security concerns expressed by Gohmert in the letters are backed up by previous investigation conducted by the Justice Department Inspector General, court filings[48] and other documents,[49] and they are based on information presented by U.S. Government officials in court depositions, court evidence, correspondence and briefings with Congress and in public statements. This material evidence is substantial enough for Gohmert—in his position of elected representatives by the people, and in the interests of the people—to raise the allegued suspicions and, to request an investigationin order to protect the United States from terrorist infiltration.[50]

Gohmert and his colleagues were praised by Newt Gingrichas the "National Security Five" in an editorial on the Politico website. Gingrich expressed he favors investigating the Muslim Brotherhood, and made clear his support to Gohmert and the other four state-elected representatives for rising up concerns that improve national security.[51] Columnist Cal Thomas shrugged off the specter of McCarthyism, and said that the real possibility of infiltration by Islamic extremists deserves to be investigated.[52]

The National Security Agency and Government Overreach[edit]

Congressman Gohmert's position on the N.S.A. Surveillance Program as he addressed his constituents:

"Friends and Neighbors, Over the past few weeks, I have received an overwhelming amount of questions and concerns dealing with National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs. The fact that the government has access to all of our phone records and email accounts is frightening. It is not only a case of massive overreach by this administration, but also a threat to every United States citizen’s constitutional rights.

Unfortunately, this type of overreach has become all too common under the current administration. Recent scandals have been frequent and disturbing in nature. Whether it is the Internal Revenue Service’s unfair treatment of political adversaries, the Justice Department’s tapping of news reporters, or this latest example within the NSA, this administration has lost the trust of the American people. These overreaching, invasive actions must be stopped, but it is going to be a battle. We have already seen that once any government starts watching its citizens like they are watching a reality TV show, it is very hard to break them of the habit. But, break that habit we must.

The NSA has abused the powers granted to it by Congress in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. While this bill was initially passed before the beginning of my time in Congress, I adamantly argued for the inclusion of sunset provisions to force accountability when renewal of the PATRIOT Act came back up. These sunset provisions were critical to enabling adequate oversight, and now it appears dramatic changes must be made or the act must be abolished. The debate was about watching known foreign terrorists or members of known terrorist organizations. I had concerns about how far the Bush administration had pushed the bounds, but now it appears this administration's spying on its people knows no bounds.

As a former Judge and Chief Justice, I cannot imagine a judge ever granting a court order for the bulk collection of all the records of a phone company of phone calls inside the United States and all calls to places outside the United States. There should have been specificity, particular descriptions limited to only people of whom there was probable cause to believe a crime had been or was being committed. Yet, the current FISA court granted this Administration’s demand. The court abused its power under the PATRIOT Act in this case and if we don’t rein in the power of the Federal Government, these types of things will most assuredly happen again. There are still people in both parties who even now are advocating that they think what was done is just fine. I do not.

The will of the majority of the people is precisely in line with the founders’ desires made clear in the Constitution. We don’t want the Federal Government looking through our computers, gathering all the information on every single call we make, or reading our text messages. We should not have to live with the constant concern of government meddling. The PATRIOT Act was intended to protect innocent Americans, not to be used as a weapon against innocent Americans.

It is clear that we must act to safeguard the rights of American citizens. With an administration that has repeatedly proven untrustworthy and that has sent people to Capitol Hill and to television interviews to perpetuate things they knew were not true, we must do everything in our power to roll back the invasive intrusions by the federal government into our communications and lives as we live them. I certainly welcome your input on these matters, and will represent your positions, but certainly wanted to let you know how it looks from the spot where I am writing this from the home of the newest big brother here in Washington, D.C.

Faithfully Yours, Louie" [53]

Response to the State of the Union Address[edit]

Congressman Gohmert comments on the State Of The Union address, and expresses his views about the implications on energy and education policy.[54]

Committee assignments[edit]

Committee on the Judiciary

Committee on Natural Resources

In addition Gohmert is a member of the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2004[55]
RepublicanLouie Gohmert157,06861.47%
DemocraticMax Sandlin (incumbent)96,28137.68%
LibertarianDean L. Tucker2,1580.84%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2006[55]
RepublicanLouie Gohmert (incumbent)104,09968.00%
DemocraticRoger L. Owen46,30330.24%
LibertarianDonald Perkison2,6681.74%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2008[55]
RepublicanLouie Gohmert (incumbent)189,01287.57%
IndependentRoger L. Owen26,81412.42%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2010[55]
RepublicanLouie Gohmert (incumbent)129,39889.72%
LibertarianCharles F. Parkes III14,81110.27%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2012[55]
RepublicanLouie Gohmert (incumbent)178,32271.4%
DemocraticShirley J. Mckellar67,22226.9%
LibertarianClark Patterson4,1141.64%

Personal life[edit]

Gohmert and his wife Kathy are parents to three daughters. Gohmert attends Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, where he has served as a deacon and teaches Sunday school.[56]


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  51. ^ Gingrich; Newt (29 July 2012). "In defense of Michele Bachmann, Muslim Brotherhood probes". Opinion Contributor. Politico. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "The underlying driving force behind this desperate desire to stop unpleasant questions is the elite’s fear that an honest discussion of radical Islamism will spin out of control. They fear if Americans fully understood how serious radical Islamists are, they would demand a more confrontational strategy." 
  52. ^ Thomas, Cal (29 July 2012). "Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?". The State. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "Like the ghosts of Shakespeare’s Banquo or Dickens’ Jacob Marley, the specter of the late commie-hunting congressman from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, will always be with us. It is summoned up today, by some on the left, who use it as a tool to thwart legitimate questions about people and ideologies that seek to destroy America." 
  53. ^ Press Release (July 19, 2013). "National Security Agency and Government Overreach". Congressional Website. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  54. ^ "Response to the State of the Union Address". January 26, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
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  56. ^ "Biography: U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". Gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Max Sandlin (D)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Virginia Foxx
R-North Carolina
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Al Green