Justin Amash is an American lawyer and politician who served as the US representative for from 2011 to 2021.
80 Facts About Justin Amash
Originally a Republican, Amash left the GOP and became an independent on the 4th of July in 2019.
Justin Amash represented the 72nd district in the Michigan House of Representatives for one term before being elected to Congress in 2010.
Justin Amash was the founder and chairperson of the Liberty Caucus and was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, which he left in June 2019.
Justin Amash received national attention when he became the first Republican congressman to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump, a position he maintained after leaving the party.
Justin Amash formed an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2020.
Justin Amash was born on April 18,1980, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Justin Amash is the second of three sons born to Arab Christian parents who had immigrated to the United States.
Justin Amash's mother, Mimi, is a Syrian Christian who met his father through family friends in Damascus, Syria, and the two married in 1974.
Justin Amash first attended Kelloggsville Christian School in Kentwood, then Grand Rapids Christian High School, from which he graduated in 1998 as class valedictorian.
Justin Amash then attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with high honors.
Justin Amash then attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2005.
Justin Amash worked for his family's business for a year before being elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2008.
Justin Amash ran in the Republican primary and defeated four other candidates before defeating Democratic nominee Albert Abbasse in the general election.
On February 9,2010, Justin Amash announced that he would run for the Republican nomination for Michigan's third congressional district and the next day incumbent Representative Vern Ehlers announced that he would not seek reelection.
Justin Amash joined Representatives Tim Huelskamp and David Schweikert in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, demanding to know why they had lost their committee positions.
Justin Amash was endorsed by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth PAC, which spent over $500,000 supporting Justin Amash in his Republican primary against former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, who was endorsed by the US Chamber of Commerce and spent more than $1 million of his own money on the race.
In 2011, Justin Amash endorsed Representative Ron Paul's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
From 2011 to 2019, Justin Amash missed only one of 5,374 roll call votes.
On July 8,2019, Justin Amash formally submitted his resignation from the Party to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republican Conference Leader Liz Cheney.
Justin Amash thus became the only independent in the House of Representatives, and the first independent in the House since Bernie Sanders of Vermont ; and one of three independents in the United States Congress, along with Sanders and Senator Angus King of Maine.
In doing so, Justin Amash became the first Libertarian member to serve in either house of Congress.
In July 2020, Justin Amash announced that he would not seek re-election to the House, saying that he would "miss" representing his constituency in Congress.
In May 2022, Justin Amash spoke at the Libertarian Party National Convention.
In November 2022, Justin Amash tweeted that he would be willing to serve as a "nonpartisan" Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, receiving support from Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
Justin Amash has described himself as a libertarian, dissenting from both Republican and Democratic leadership more frequently than the vast majority of Republican members of Congress.
Justin Amash was regarded as one of the most libertarian members of Congress, receiving high scores from right-leaning interest groups such as the Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Prosperity, and praise from limited-government think tanks and nonprofit organizations.
Justin Amash was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans in the House.
Justin Amash officially announced his membership in the Libertarian Party in late April 2020.
Justin Amash opposes late term abortion and federal funding for abortion.
Justin Amash describes himself as "100 percent pro-life" and in 2017 voted in favor of federal legislation to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
In May 2012, Justin Amash was one of seven Republicans to vote against the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, which would have made it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion on a woman who wants to end a pregnancy based on the gender of the fetus.
Justin Amash criticized the bill as ineffective and virtually impossible to enforce, and said Congress "should not criminalize thought", while maintaining that he believes "all abortion should be illegal".
In July 2019, Justin Amash cosponsored Representative Ayanna Pressley's bill that would abolish the death penalty at the federal level.
Justin Amash has supported efforts to reform cannabis laws in Congress, including the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act in 2017 and the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act in 2020.
Justin Amash took aim at asset forfeiture in a statement, saying the practice allows "innocent people to have their property taken without sufficient due process".
In December 2020, Justin Amash introduced a bill titled the Civil Asset Forfeiture Elimination Act to abolish the practice nationwide.
In March 2010, Justin Amash was the only member of the Michigan House of Representatives to vote against making benzylpiperazine a schedule I drug, saying that penalties for nonviolent crimes shouldn't be increased.
Justin Amash has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that many environmental regulations are too strict.
Justin Amash voted for the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which would have amended the Clean Air Act of 1963 to prohibit the EPA from regulating specified greenhouse gases as air pollutants.
On May 4,2017, Justin Amash voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to pass a revised version of the American Health Care Act.
Justin Amash has pointed to structural problems in how Congress operates.
Justin Amash believes that many members have put "party above principles," in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Justin Amash has been a frequent critic of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
Justin Amash voted against the 2011 reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act, the 2012 reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, and the USA Freedom Act.
In 2013, Justin Amash was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of closing Guantanamo Bay and transferring its detainees.
In 2016, Justin Amash was one of three Republicans to vote in favor of an amendment to close Guantanamo Bay and potentially allow federal officials to transfer detainees to facilities in the United States.
Justin Amash opposed President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to ban citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Justin Amash proposed an amendment to the reauthorization bill of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
In July 2018, Justin Amash was the only member of the US House to vote against creating a three-digit national suicide prevention hotline.
Justin Amash argued that Congress lacked the constitutional power to pass the legislation, saying it was a "good idea" but lacked a "constitutional basis".
In 2017, Justin Amash was one of two dozen Republicans to vote against an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have prohibited taxpayer funds from being used by the Department of Defense to provide gender transition support to military members.
In 2019, Justin Amash voted "present" on a resolution objecting to Trump's restrictions on transgender individuals in the military.
In May 2020, Justin Amash expressed support for US membership in the United Nations as a "positive venue" for diplomatic engagement.
Justin Amash announced his support for a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US Justin Amash supported an eventual path to citizenship once the undocumented obtained legal status.
In July 2017, Justin Amash was the only Republican to vote against Kate's law, a bill that increased maximum penalties for criminals who entered the US illegally more than once.
Justin Amash later said he was concerned the bill did not have adequate 5th amendment due process protections for undocumented immigrants to challenge their removal orders.
Justin Amash was the only Republican in the chamber to vote against the resolution.
In December 2018, Justin Amash was one of eight House Republicans to vote against a stopgap government funding bill that included $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
In February 2019, Justin Amash was the only House Republican to co-sponsor a resolution to block Trump's declaration of a national emergency to redirect funds to build a wall on the US-Mexico border without a congressional appropriation for such a project.
Justin Amash supports decreasing US military spending and believes there is significant waste in the US Department of Defense.
Justin Amash believes only Congress has the power to declare war, and has criticized multiple military actions taken by Presidents Obama and Trump.
In July 2011, he sponsored an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that would have prevented funding for operations against Gaddafi's government and Justin Amash later stated that President Obama's actions during the Libyan Civil War were unconstitutional without authorization from Congress.
Justin Amash criticized President Obama's intervention in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant for proceeding without a Congressional declaration of war.
Justin Amash joined 104 Democrats and 16 Republicans in voting against the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which specified the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense, calling it "one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime".
Justin Amash co-sponsored an amendment to the NDAA that would ban indefinite military detention and military trials so that all terror suspects arrested in the United States would be tried in civilian courts.
Justin Amash expressed concern that individuals charged with terrorism could be jailed for prolonged periods of time without ever being formally charged or brought to trial.
On March 14,2016, Justin Amash joined the unanimous vote in the House to approve a resolution declaring the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to be committing genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East, but joined Representatives Tulsi Gabbard and Thomas Massie in voting against a separate measure creating an international tribunal to try those accused of participating in the alleged atrocities.
In July 2017, Justin Amash was one of only three House members to vote against the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a bill that imposed new economic sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
In January 2019, Justin Amash voted against legislation that would prevent the President from unilaterally withdrawing from or altering NATO, although he subsequently said that he supports US NATO membership, pointing to his 2017 vote to affirm NATO's Article 5.
In October 2019, Justin Amash criticized Trump's proposed withdrawal of US troops from Syria for having "green-lighted" the 2019 Turkish offensive into northeastern Syria against Kurdish forces.
In January 2020, Justin Amash voted in favor of the "No War Against Iran Act", which sought to block funding for the use of US military force in or against Iran unless Congress preemptively signed off.
In 2016, Justin Amash joined the list of Republicans who opposed the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
Justin Amash spoke more like the head of a vassal state.
In May 2019, Justin Amash said that Trump "has engaged in impeachable conduct" based on the obstruction of justice findings of the Mueller Report, which, Justin Amash said, "few members of Congress have read".
Justin Amash said that Attorney General William Barr "deliberately misrepresented" the report's findings and that partisanship was making it difficult to maintain checks and balances in the American political system.
Justin Amash was the first Republican member of Congress to call for Trump's impeachment.
Shortly after making his remarks on impeachment, Justin Amash received a standing ovation from the majority of attendees at a town hall meeting in his district.
Justin Amash told the crowd that Trump was setting a bad example for the nation's children.
On October 31,2019, Justin Amash was the only non-Democrat in the House to vote for an impeachment inquiry against Trump in connection with the Trump-Ukraine scandal.