Speaker Mike Johnson Draws Scrutiny for Ties to Far Right Christian Movements

Speaker Mike Johnson Draws Scrutiny for Ties to Far Right Christian Movements

For NPR, domestic extremism correspondent Odette Yousef reports on Speaker Mike Johnson’s close connections to Christian extremists who espouse dominionism, the theocratic idea that Christians are called by God to exert control over every aspect of society. PRRI research finds that while 6% of Americans completely agree with the idea of Christian control over society, another 14% mostly agree with this idea. According to Yousef, Johnson’s ties to these far-right Christian groups, and their anti-democratic agendas, are unprecedented for a lawmaker in such a high position of authority.

A New Era of Open Defiance

The Atlantic’s David A. Graham reports on a new trend of Southern states ignoring federal oversight on voting rights. Last week, Georgia’s state legislature released maps that skirt a federal judge’s ruling and legislators in Louisiana pushed out the deadline to fix congressional districts that didn’t pass judicial review. Graham explains that Georgia’s legislators are trying to get by on a technicality: Republicans did not change the nine majority-white districts as they were ordered to, but instead added a fourth majority-Black district. PRRI research finds that Black (74%) and Hispanic (70%) Americans support Congress passing a voting rights law, as do six in ten white Americans (59%).

What Virginia Democrats’ Proposed Abortion Rights Constitutional Amendment Would Do

Ned Oliver at Axios reports that Democrats in Virginia’s General Assembly are beginning the process of enshrining a right to abortion in the state constitution and will consider a constitutional amendment that establishes a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” in early January. While the text of the amendment bars any laws limiting abortion and is intended to preserve the state’s existing abortion law, there is ongoing debate about what the bill would actually do if it were passed. PRRI research finds that Americans are nearly three times as likely to say abortion should be legal in all cases as they are to say it should be illegal in all cases (26% vs. 9%).

Florida Democrat Frost Proposes Bill To Curb Book Bans

At The Hill, Tara Suter writes that Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) has put forward the first legislation of its kind that would attempt to curb book bans. Book bans in Frost’s home state of Florida represent 40% of all bans across the nation. Meanwhile, CNN reports that Penguin Random House, joined by four bestselling authors, the Iowa State Education Association, students, and teachers, recently filed a federal lawsuit challenging an Iowa state law which bans books in schools and limits what can be taught on sexual orientation and gender identity. PRRI research finds that around one-third (36%) of Americans say it is never appropriate to teach children about gender identity in public schools.

What’s Buzzing?

To learn more, read PRRI’s report “The Politics of Gender, Pronouns, and Public Education” here.